Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Yesterday, I met up with "Sierra", my personal trainer for the second of four pre-paid sessions. This time, she warmed me up on the stair-stepper, which is a machine I hate, Hate, HATE with a passion. "I noticed that you work out on the bicycle, treadmill and elliptical. I'm going to mix it up a bit for you," she said, smiling. Gee, thanks, Sierra.
After the warm up, we focused on strength training. I did multiple sets of tricep rows, chest presses with dumbbells, lunges, squats, general floor exercises for my legs, and abdominal work. We did not use a single weight machine. "Machines do lots of the work for you," she explained. "These strength train exercises force you to use your balance, which works out more muscles." She noted that my abdominals are weak and that I need to stretch more.
Once again, Sierra tweaked my technique and workouts. She nixed the bicep curls I had been doing by saying, "No one really moves like this. You need to find exercises that move you like you move your body during the day and work multiple muscles." Okay, no more bicep curls.
She also said that I would need to workout a minimum of 5x a week if I want to lose 20 pounds by November. Given that my weight loss has slowed, I might modify that goal to 15 pounds.
Overall, the session went by fast and today, I'm slightly sore. This evening, I will return to the gym and do cardio. That godawful stair-stepper machine awaits.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
After all the emotion and bluster of this past weekend, I am glad to be 100% back on program. Unfortunately, my weight is fluctuating between the same two pounds.
Now that I'm back to morning smoothies and bringing a lunch to work, I expect to see a loss by Friday. Otherwise, I'm on a small plateau. This time, it won't be such a mystery. I haven't been as careful with my eating and have splurged more often on less healthy foods. I haven't lost control of my eating, but just haven't been as disciplined. I started to turn it around yesterday and today, I'm having a much better day food-wise. This evening, I will be working out with my personal trainer. I'm hoping this will pump up my motivation for awhile.
By the way, that "friend" I accidently added on Facebook (see my previous blog, "struggling")? I did unfriend him. His loss.
Onward and downward.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Five months ago, I ended a "friendship" with a man I met six years ago. He was in town for a conference, I was on vacation and painting the town red with my friends. We connected and went on several dates. He was an attractive educated, southern gentleman who opened doors and insisted on paying for everything. He returned to town a month later and we went on more dates. He wanted more, but I was still healing from a prior breakup. We settled for phone conversations because of the distance. The plans we made to get together again never materialized; trips to Vegas, trips to the east coast. The years rolled on. We dated other people, but stayed connected as "friends."
In March, I realized that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits of the phone calls and emails. I wanted cake, but I was getting crumbs. The "friendship" was no longer fulfilling and I was unhappy. It was time for this "friendship" to end. But before it could end, I decided to tell him how I felt and ask for what I wanted. It was a tough conversation, but everything was out in the open and I was satisfied that it was time to move on.
Then, mysteriously on Friday, I found myself connected to him on Facebook. I didn't even know he was on Facebook. Maybe when I synched my phone with my Facebook account, it sent him a friend request. Whatever. When he connected with me, I saw pictures of him huddled up with a woman. Not surprising, but Ouch. She wasn't even cute. Ouch again. I spent the weekend feeling miserable and reflecting on all the tough things I've endured in the last two years: job loss, moving from a house to an apartment, becoming a grandmother at an early age, missed promotions, unhealthy relationships and superficial friendships.
Now, given my circumstances, I need to reframe what it means to be successful and to exorcise the feelings I had buried under layers of fat. It's tough but necessary emotional work.
When I was young I dreamed of getting my degree, living a comfortable life in a big house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with my successful, handsome husband, prestigious job and well-behaved overachieving children. The classic pipedream of "having it all". LOL. I did get the degree--actually two of them, but I'm also a single empty-nester middle-aged grandmother living paycheck to paycheck in an apartment. Not sure how I got here, but here I am.
So how do I reframe my thinking? Well, after five months of unemployment last year I did find a job. It's not a big job and I'm slightly underemployed, but it's a decent, stable one in a good environment and I can pay my bills. Hey, who needs a house anyway? I don't know how to fix stuff, I don't garden and I hate cutting grass. I like the lock and leave lifestyle and my apartment is spacious and has nice amenities. My daughter and grandson are healthy and she's working hard to get back into college. Although I spent this weekend embroiled in a classic pity party, I do have friends who listened and offered support as I ranted over drinks at happy hour. Most importantly, I exercised and maintained a degree of control over my eating. I'm even planning to play softball this fall. I haven't played softball since I was a teen.
The remaining 27 pounds will be harder to lose because the pain of being overweight has diminished, I'm closer to goal and I'm dealing with these raw emotions that had been hidden under layers of fat. But, I'm still blogging, recording my meals and exercising. I haven't lost weight in nearly two weeks, but it's too early to declare a plateau. Right now, I blame it on monthly water weight gain and salty food.
Somehow, I've got to dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward. Even if my progress slows down to baby steps, I've got to keep on keepin' on and have faith that everything will be all right.
Onward and downward.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Yesterday, I got the results of my fasting blood glucose and A1c. Both have dropped to normal levels! My blood glucose is down to 92 from 100 and my A1c dropped from 6.2 to 5.7. Needless to say, I'm elated but my work is not done. Now I have to maintain the habits that got me here. Although I'm no longer officially prediabetic, I know that if I don't take care of myself, that diabetes is just around the corner. For now, though, I celebrate. Yay for me!
Yesterday, I went shopping for a new pair of jeans. I was surprised to discover that I can already wear a size 12. I should've been dancing in the fitting room, but I wasn't. Why? Because of vanity sizing. I tried on at least half a dozen pair in multiple brands, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lee, Levi, JLo, Sonoma. I was a size 12 in all of them. Wasn't this my goal? To wear a size 12 pair of jeans? Why wasn't I celebrating?
Because the last time I wore a size 12 jean, it was a smaller size. That was 10 years ago. I realized that over these years, I've been going to the store, trying on my usual size and they would continue to fit. Since my clothing size hardly changed, I never panicked about my weight gain because I was able to rationalize "But I'm still a 14." Or whatever size I was in. Now, that logic is out the window. Yesterday in the fitting room, when I saw my reflection in the mirror wearing a size 12 jean, I still looked heavy. I didn't look or feel thinner. Also, the slimmer fit of the jeans, accentuated my thick waist, reminding me of the work that's still left to do.
Now I realize that when I get to my goal weight which is still 27 pounds away, I will probably be wearing a size 8 or 10, which is now yesterday's size 12.
Onward and downward.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I work out at a community center in a suburb of Kansas City. While I'm there, I enjoy people watching because the membership is so diverse. The indoor track overlooks the gymnasium and goes around the pool, weight and cardio machine areas, making it easy to observe what other people are doing. Randomly listed below are a few of the more interesting scenarios I've observed during my workouts.
1. An Asian couple teaching their young child to play badminton.
2. A woman in full hajib attire going down the slipper slide in the swimming pool.
3. A dozen high school aged black boys shooting hoops while their girlfriends look on.
4. An attendant walking on the indoor track alongside a young man who appeared to have suffered from a stroke.
5. A group of 10 year old boys dunking a basketball into a lowered rim on one side of the court.
6. A slender, fit, woman appearing to be in her late 70s and wearing a turban, sprinting down the track and, later on, lifting weights.
7. A blond man built like an Adonis working out with dumbells and unintentionally distracting half the women in the gym.
8. An old man in street clothes on a leg extension machine.
9. A 225 pound teenager chewing gum, talking on her cell phone (yech) and pedaling slowly on a recumbent bike.
10. A slender man sprinting like a deer around the track.
11. An east Indian couple opting to walk indoors in their street clothes because it's 107 degrees outside. She is wearing traditional attire and has a long, black ponytail.
12. A slender 16 year old girl working out with her 400 pound mother.
13. A 30 something man with a large hairy chest, big huge biceps and skinny chicken legs doing hammer curls.
14. A 4'6" elderly Asian woman walking around the track with a towel wrapped around her neck.
15. A group of Latino children playing under the wading pool's "waterfall".
16. A middle aged Caucasian man wandering through the weight area carrying on a conversation via bluetooth, except I couldn't see the bluetooth.
17. A 5'10" 120 pound Caucasian "woman" with a prominent nose, Adam's apple (?), and glasses working out with weights alongside a personal trainer.
18. A 5'7" 100 pound anorexic-looking Caucasian woman pedaling furiously in a spinning class.
19. A Somali woman wearing a hajib standing alongside her 12 year old daughter while she works out on an abdominal machine.
20. A young, special needs woman with cute blond pigtails and a big belly, repeatedly doing a basic step on a bench. Her t-shirt is tucked into a pair of black sweatpants that are hiked clear up to her chest. When people walk past her, she smiles and says "hi."
21. A man in a wheel chair using a handpedal stationary cycle to get his workout in.
Seeing the folks from all ages, races, ethnicities and walks of life keeps the gym scene interesting.
Get An Email Alert Each Time WRITINGBLUEHAWK Posts