that was the question. I previously blogged about swearing off Boot Camps because I honestly feel I had basically aged out of them. Then, my best friend, who is stubborn and disagreed with my assessment, bought me a punch card so I could work out with her. I thought about giving it back to her, for her to use, but agreed to just "try it out". I am happy I did. It is not actually a boot camp, first of all. It is more circuit training/strength training. It lasts 45 minutes which is so much more sensible than an hour. The instructor is a woman I know and like who has a great sense of humor (and appreciates mine, which is always fun) and she is just as likely to say "don't do that if it hurts" as she is to say "challenge yourself". I am careful to let my brain and my joints choose the weight of the kettlebells I use, rather than my ego. It does not matter if the person next to me is using heavier weights, I am working out MY body, not theirs. I absolutely need strength training and I have proven time and time again that I won't do it at home, on my own. I like being told what to do, and being in a place dedicated to that specific activity, and being surrounded by others (but not too many others, which is the reason I switched workout places - too crowded plus too little available equipment makes for a grumpy workout for me). I am only averaging about twice a week, which is fine with me because my focus is on getting ready to do another Grouse Grind mountain climb next month. I did it last year, and it was SO HARD yet I am ready to tackle it again. It is 3000 stairs up a smallish mountain and, unless one is part mountain goat and I decidedly am NOT, it is grueling. So, in the hopes of bettering my time and feeling more equal to the task this year, I have been focusing on meeting up with various friends to walk big, steep hills and to climb staircases multiple times. I already feel stronger and more capable, in terms of the cardio challenge. But, the reality is, I still carry a lot of excess weight. It is stubbornly staying put and I am working on not being too frustrated about that. I set aside the silliness of eating pizza, and eating ice cream, and eating after 7 at night, and some other foolish food behaviors, but that does not mean the weight is coming off. I feel stronger, and I also feel frustrated and fat, and I am truly sick of being fat. But, this is my reality. I refuse to let my excess weight keep me from doing things I want to do - working out with friends, and tackling challenges like Grouse Mountain with them, are some of the things I want to do. Despite my weight, my heart rate and cholesterol level and some other health markers are good, so I trudge on. Lots of good bonding, and laughing, and getting stronger, and feeling very alive and connected, happens while sweating it out with friends.
Next week, an old friend (dating back to childhood, especially teenagerhood), is coming to visit me. She lives in Hawaii. I have not seen her in person for years, we mostly stay in touch via Facebook these days. This is the friend who, when I saw her years ago after having not seen her since I was a slender twentysomething, told me "I would rather be dead than fat". She smoked heavily so I thought to myself "you may just get your wish, doll". Okay, so am I nervous about seeing her again, in my present state of fatness? No, not really. Her being uncomfortable about ME being fat is definitely in the "her problem" category. I have enough discomfort to deal with being fat, I am certainly not taking on somebody else's discomfort with it. I am a good woman who lives a decent life and I am, quite frankly, lovable, just as I am. If she wants to light up a cigarette, am I going to lecture and judge her? Nope, I will sit outside next to her as she puffs away. We all have our struggles - some are more visible to the outside world than others. She and I are also on opposite sides, politically. That hasn't killed our connection either. We have a strong thread of affection and appreciation that transcends the other stuff. We make each other laugh and we are interested in each others stories and lives. That's enough to make me set the other stuff aside and look forward to a good visit. Can I just point out to you that the fact that I am feeling stronger and healthier due to all the good exercise I have been getting, after a period where I had dialed it back, is making me much more comfortable in my own chubby skin. Confidence is always a good look