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The Saga Continues

Monday, August 29, 2011

When we left Our Heroine yesterday, she had declared her intention to go to the gym near her work today and try it out. If you will remember, she has never used any of these machines, is not sure what most of them are, and will need kind and gentle assistance from the staff.

After work, Our Lady filled her water bottle with ice water and walked to her car, dragging the case of patient charts her job requires her to take everywhere (well, almost everywhere). Being tired, she tried to drive up to the garage near the gym, only to find that it is restricted until 5PM (it is now 4PM). She drove back through tangled traffic to her own lot, changed from dress shoes to walking shoes, and headed up the street two blocks to the gym.

Once there, she stood in line for 15 minutes while a staff member tried to explain the pricing structure to a man whose English skills were not up to the discussion. Our Heroine finally got to the desk, only to be told that the $2.15 entry price only applies on Fridays, and that other days the gym is only open to members, University staff or not. By that time, she was not just tired and discouraged, but realized that she was thirsty, but she had forgotten that fresh water bottle in the car. She had also realized that while she had brought clothes to exercise in, she had failed to bring anything to change into afterwards, and would have been stuck with her now-sweaty work clothes, including (ewwww, TMI) her underclothes.

Our heroine returned to the car, got a drink from her bottle, and then demonstrated what she is really made of. Bloody but unbowed, she drove directly to a walking trail, and walked down it for a mile and back again.

At this point, Our Heroine is deciding how to approach this whole issue. It seems ridiculous to purchase a year's membership in a gym when one is not sure one will even like it. (Our Heroine already owns a treadmill that gathers dust because it is so deadly boring to walk on it.) She is seriously considering going to one of the gyms that offered a week long trial to try this out, but feeling dishonest if she is not intending to really pop for that gym. No swimming pool or walking track there, you see. On the other hand, it is possible to park fairly easily there, and there aren't thousands of teenagers out driving around it in circles.

Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode in The Life of an Intentional Loser.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 8/30/2011 12:10PM

    I know our heroine to be a most plucky and resilient gal! If you would like someone to walk with some random evening, please give me a call and we can do that little thing! I'm back in town by 5 most nights.

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TAZZIT1 8/30/2011 7:39AM

    Maybe a cape and a slogan will help with the treadmill LOL Really you did what you intended to do just a slight obstacle in the way. Seems like they always pop up when we least expect them. Have a great day. HUGS

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    oh !!! i think im in love with this heroine !!! she sounds fabulous !!!.. will def. be waiting to see whats in store for her :)

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plodding along today

Monday, August 29, 2011

When I did my weekly tracking this morning, I said my energy was fairly high, but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the interval. Even so, I actually have gotten a lot done today. I visited another gym, and decided that although it had a couple features I really would like to have, it wasn't going to do for me. It is a public gym, run by the city, and the noise level is persistently high. I can deal with it when I take my granddaughter to swim for an afternoon, but as I was walking around looking, I realized that having to deal with that level of noise every time I went in was a recipe for failure.

I looked at two other gyms on Friday, as well as swimming at the campus one and getting a tour there. Much to my surprise, I am leaning to the University recreation center. I had it on my list because it is in easy walking distance from work, and because I get a discount there as an employee. Turns out EVERYONE gives a discount to Univ. employees. I had expected an old, smelly building, occupied by college age jocks who would sneer at this older, out of shape woman. Instead I found a beautiful facility, almost a spa, with some spa-like features, like manicures, pedicures and massages. There is a smattering of jocks, but also a fair number of faculty and staff-aged people. Their personal trainers are apparently predominantly graduate students in physical therapy, so should have some concept of my physical limitations. All in all, it's looking good. Unlike the other gyms I have visited other than the one today, it has a pool (actually three pools) and an indoor walk/run track. I'm planning to go there tomorrow after work, pay the $2.15 they ask from visitors, go into the exercise equipment room (another nice feature: they have a loud room,music blasting but also a quiet room for the introverts amongst us), and ask for help using the machines, and see what kind of reception I get before I plunk down several hundred dollars for a year's membership.

In the meantime, I have realized that I once again need to pull in my horns a little. The basic personal trainer packages at all of the gyms for what I need are from 6-8 weeks long, and I am going to be gone two weeks in Oct. I think I am just going to do my own thing about three times a week, including more swimming lessons, and maybe sign up for an official "membership" when I get back from my trip.

In the meantime, I gave myself permission today to pull back on the exercise a little. My muscles are very tired and achy, even the simple games on WiiFit were hard for me today, and I have realized that once again I am trying to do it all, and will proceed to burn myself out and fall off the wagon if I don't get my impulse to be perfect immediately and completely under control.

SparkPeople says I am an emotional eater, and tend to take an all or nothing approach that is inherently self-defeating (or words to that effect), and boy, do they have me spotted. Working on getting over that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSWHITEWOLF 9/1/2011 4:19PM

    Sounds like an awesome gym. Keep in mind, you CAN DO IT! without a trainer. You should be able to ask any trainer how to work a piece of equipment, what they recommend. If you feel you need a trainer, shop wisely, wait, and talk to a few at the gym to see which one clicks with you. I joined our 24 hour fitness, I need to continue my heart rehab stuff and I can't afford a trainer, but one has taken a liking to me, encourages me, and helps me. He does not spend the time as if I hired him, but he walks by smiles, and he does go over a piece of equipment and tell me things to do. I do them. I am fighting to save my life in so many ways and to get weight off that has been nearly impossible because of another disease that I have...but I am not giving up. It is ok to give yourself a break. The gym I go to is pretty quiet...people use IPOD/MP3 Players. I was amazed at how quiet.

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GRAMMIEOFTWO 8/29/2011 12:13AM

  The gym you described sounds like heaven. I don't like a noisy gym either and it can get pretty loud where I go. There are not a lot of choices for me close by so I will stick with this one. I take headphones and turn them way up when someone gets too loud.

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still going

Sunday, August 28, 2011

As much as I enjoyed the swimming yesterday, I woke up this morning tired and achy (not stiff, amazingly enough, just achy), and couldn't seem to talk myself off the couch although there is a LOT that needs done around here. Finally a friend called at about 2:45 to ask if I wanted to "do lunch". Realizing that I had slept through lunch while "reading" on the couch, I said yes, and went to join her. Had a good visit, but afterwards I looked at my pedometer--under 2000 steps for the day so far, and it was 5:30 in the afternoon!!

Went to WallyWorld to get some supplies for swimming (since this is something that needs to be encouraged as a habit) and some tennis balls (no, I don't play. My chiropractor says running my foot back and forth on one will strengthen the muscles in my foot and keep that stupid little bone from slipping out of place all the time).

Still only a few steps over 2000, I was heading home thinking that I needed to get some outside work done and that would increase my steps, but had a talk with myself, and said, "Self, you know perfectly well that if you go home and change, you are going to sit down on that sofa and not move for the rest of the evening. Get your butt in gear and get to a walking trail while you still feel enthused about it."

I actually listened to good advice for a change, and went to walk on a trail my daughter and I used to use a lot when my work hours were different and we could get together for a walking lunch sometimes. I decided when I got out of the car that I was going to walk out for 30 minutes, which obviously means I was going to walk back for 30 minutes. Started out, and discovered that in the interim the city has built a lot of new trails in that particular area. I followed one new one all the way to the end, then came back to the "pond loop" (goes around a little pond) and walked down an old favorite trail. Doing well, it was going to be right at an hour when I got back, and my heart rate was staying right at 112, which is about right given my age, weight, and general physical condition.

Somewhere in there I got turned around, took the wrong trail, and found myself winding around, thoroughly lost, with no idea where I had left the car. It really only took about 10 minutes to back track and figure out which was the old trail I was looking for and which the new one. As I got back to the car, I realized that had I just kept going on the "wrong" trail it would also have taken me back to the car--I could see the bridge that had told me I was off on a tangent from the parking lot.

The upshot was that I walked for about 70 minutes, and a good three miles. Doesn't sound fast does it? But my legs were sure telling me about it, and still are. I still ended up with only a little over 8000 steps, but decided I needed to give myself a break before I burn myself out, and gave myself permission to skip my WiiFit run tonight. My legs thank me.

Well, here it is after midnight again tonight. This exercising thing seems to be messing up my sleep cycle, or maybe just allowing it to re-establish itself. Guess I should quit rambling and go to bed now, though.


That was really a lot of fun!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Went swimming with a friend from church tonight. The thing is, I really don't swim, and this woman swims in competitions. This started as "come along Friday and I'll show you around the gym" after church last Sunday. At some point it morphed to "I can lend you goggles and a swim cap if you don't have them." She had told me she was working with a co-worker, teaching her how to swim, and had gotten her to go into the 17 foot deep pool last week. I had told her that 17 feet would make me really nervous, too. I tend to panic if the water is over my head.

So, tonight I met her and her friend (who it turns out I have met before), she gave me a tour, and then we went swimming--in the 17 foot deep pool.

It didn't start too badly. She had me sit on the side, and taught me how to kick properly (something no one had ever communicated to me before). After a few minutes of this, though, she said, "Now get in the pool and do that in the water." Into 17 feet of water!!

After hemming and hawing for a couple minutes, I finally managed to get the guts to actually get in, clinging desperately to the edge of the pool. Luckily, there was a small ledge to stand on down there. Unluckily, Marianne said, "Now, turn around, straighten your arms, put your legs straight out behind you, and practice that kick."

O.M.G. She HAD to be kidding. Nope. So, I told her to grab me if I slipped, took a deep breath, and tried it--successfully!! Then she showed me how to breath when I am putting my face in the water and just grabbing breaths between, and had me practice that. Also something no one had ever explained to me before, and I can do it, but it's going to take a lot of practice. Every so often I would zig when I should have zagged, and got a mouth full of water.

Well, I had told her that the only "strokes" I really know how to do are the backstroke and the dog paddle. Marianne demanded, "Show me your back stroke," so I did. I started out, discovered that I was floating just fine, no matter how much water was below me (17 feet!!), and made it all the way across the pool, which had grown wider while I was going across it. I thought about climbing out and walking back to her, but decided, no, I said I was going to get more active, and it was damn well going to happen--so I breathed for a couple minutes, and back stroked back to her. Whee. Then she gave me a kick board, and I kicked my way across the pool and back again. And again. Then she showed me "the easiest stroke for a human", an alternate back stroke that is a "rescue stroke" if you fall out of the boat in the middle of the ocean, and I did that all the way across and back again. Whew!!

We did this for an hour or so, the other newbie learning her new strokes while I was doing mine, then went in the wave pool, then into the hot tub. Amazingly enough, I not only didn't feel tired afterwards, I still am not really all that tired, even though it is close to midnight and I got up at 5:30 AM.

Got home, sat down to eat dinner and look at the materials from that gym, and started to stiffen up, so I decided that I just needed to do a little more, andbesides, I was short on steps anyway, in spite of a concerted effort to walk as much as possible today, so I got on my WiiFit and did the 20 minute "run" as usual this week.

I am so proud of myself tonight I could just plotz. I am SO GOOD!!! " See, " I'm telling myself, "I knew you could do it if you put your mind to it!!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINGFREE19 8/27/2011 1:01AM

    That is emoticon that you did go swimming! What a great exercise!
You are well on your way to being 'skinny'!
Good luck!

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revelations, and a problem I never thought I would ever have.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Started myother singing group tonight, and I really like the conductor. In getting to it, though, I had a couple revelations, and over the last couple weeks have developed a problem I did not anticipate.

The first revelation was when I came home to eat dinner, although I knew I would only be here an hour or so before I needed to turn around and go back into town (about 15 miles). For several years, in this sort of situation I automatically ate out, since I didn't think there would be enough time to pay me to go home. Tonight, I got home, changed clothes, and ate a little cottage cheese, while thinking in annoyance that I was going to need to do my 20 minute WiiFit walk at 9:30 tonight. Then I realized it--I had plenty of time to do the 20 minute aerobic exercise thing right then!! And I had time to sit down and read for awhile before it was time to go, as well. Why have I been eating in restaurants so routinely for so long? I hadn't realized how pleasant it would be to come home and relax, even if it is a long drive back.

Then I went to track my "other goals", one of which is "save $5 a day". When I don't eat in a restaurant after work, I have been counting that as saving $10 each time--probably a conservative estimate. All at once I realized that I'm not sure I really saved that today, or for several days recently, because I came home without even thinking about the possibility of eating out, or having to resist the urge to stop. Whew. That seems to have been a relatively easy bad habit to break.

And the problem: I keep going UNDER the number of calories I should be getting. I've never had that happen before in my life. I'm not abstaining from eating, I am just not getting all that hungry. I suspect it is because I have been eating more vegetables and fruits, and they are filling me up better. But, good grief, how can I NOT be hungry when I am taking in so little food? Has anyone else had this happen? What did you do about it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAB210 8/26/2011 12:14PM

    It's awesome when the "new habits" become your regular lifestyle. You're doing great! Keep going!

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OAKBORN 8/26/2011 10:10AM

    I hear ya! You just kind of used to eating less, methinks. And perhaps you are using what you are taking in more efficiently.

I remember getting down to fewer calories... and once you are geared towards it, it's not at all hard to maintain. You may have a splurge day from time to time, but you may find (as I did) that it's not nearly as much fun as you remember.

Good job! You are getting on the journey... it's a challenging but great road!

Peel back the layers of the onion, you will be amazed how deep you go!

emoticon emoticon

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JULIA1154 8/26/2011 12:51AM

  You may be eating less due to the heat, if that's an issue where you live. Since it's summer, try treating yourself to some fresh fruit after your workout or perhaps something cool such as some Greek yogurt. Maybe take a look at your daily report to see if you need more protein, carbs or fats.

On the other hand, if you're just a bit below your range and you feel good and are getting all the nutrients you need, I wouldn't sweat it. Your body may be very happy with less right now, and learning to listen to your body is part of your new, healthy life.

Off topic - what sort of materials are you doing in your choral group? I don't sing in a choir any more (I grew up doing so) but have many friends who do, and I've always loved all sorts of choral music. You're lucky to be able to sing!

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