Within the past couple of months I've taken several steps toward creating a healthier me. While I haven't really consciously tried to make this into fitness blog (which would be about like Charlie Sheen starting a sanity blog), it has sort of turned into a fitness blog on it's own just because I lack the imagination required to write about anything other than my daily life, and right now my daily life is very fitness-centric.
I'm done fighting it. I guess this is just me for right now.
So I've been using the BodyBugg for a bit over a week now and I LOVE it. It beats the heck out of logging individual exercises in FatSecret. BodyBugg's food database sucks so I'm just using The Bugg to calculate exercise calories, which I key into FatSecret in a lump sum adjustment to see my net deficit.
If BodyBugg is to be believed, and I don't know that it has any motivation to lie to me, FatSecret has been drastically over-estimating my metabolism. This was initially a bit disheartening, but knowledge is power and all that rot.
I broke up with The Y and joined Urban Active Fitness. The Big Girl Gym suits me SO much better than the family atmosphere of the Y. I have no patience for little kids, which is why I no longer have one, and I have enough trouble dealing with my own teenager, I don't want to deal with everyone elses. Granted I've only been there twice, but I don't dread going and that's a big plus.
In fact, and trust me what I'm about to say is so unbelievable to me that I haven't ruled out early onset dimentia, but I actually WANT to go work out. If I could do it right this very second I would. If I could go after work today, I would. If I could go any time before tomorrow evening, when I actually CAN go, I would. This whole business of being a parent and a productive member of society is getting in the way of what, admittedly, might become an unhealthy obsession if left unchecked. I guess that's good, right?
I first visited my new gym on Sunday. I did the upper body portion of one of the many sets of circuit training machines, followed by 45 minutes on the elliptical. I honestly wanted to go longer on the ET. I could have happily gone a full hour or more, reading and sweating facing out over the parking lot. But The Man and The Girl were wandering the adjacent shopping area while I worked out and I didn't want to leave them waiting an inconsiderate amount of time. So I stopped, showered, and met them at Barnes & Noble where I was greeeted with "That was fast". Sigh.
Monday I couldn't go, but I met with two separate personal trainers yesterday after work. The first, who I'll call Chris (because that's his name) had me fill out some paperwork, asked me about a million questions, then handed me over to the most adorable little (but fit) gay man I've ever met. My fitness level was assessed (I'm pretty sure they had to create a new category for me on their assessment paperwork), I was put through a workout that included lunges, lifting and throwing a 20 lb bag of sand, squats while lifting free weights and a sad attempt at crunches while perched atop a spongy flat-bottomed ball type dealio. During the beginning of the workout I wanted the trainer to be my new BFF. I imagined we could do lunch, go shoe shopping, maybe take in a musical. By the end I just wanted to throw him out a window but lacked the strength.
After my assessment and workout I was sat back down with Chris, who explained to me why I need to do this type of workout rather than the machines and cardio to which I've become accustomed. The first problem is that I've become accustomed to them, and apparently my body is smart enough to get used to stuff and stop being impressed with my efforts, therefore not rewarding me with the desired results.
Second, and I suppose this makes sense, if I concentrate primarily on cardio, I burn lots of calories for that 45 minutes or so and then my metabolism quickly goes back to normal. If I concentrate on building muscle, I burn calories while I'm doing it (BodyBugg said I burned FAR more calories per minute doing lunges and throwing that stupid sandbag than I do on the ET) but also there's the whole muscle is metabolically more active thing to deal with.
Chris says I can realistically expect to gain a pound of lean muscle per month, which will burn an additional 50 calories per day when at rest. This doesn't sound like much but if I do this for 10 months, that means I'll be burning 500 extra calories per day when at rest...and that translates to a pound of fat loss per week.
Am I ready to give up my ET? No. And that came as a HUGE shock to me. I actually ENJOY my time on the elliptical. I LIKE to sweat and zone out and read.
What the hell is happening to me?? I smell toast.
Chris assures me that I'll still be able to cardio train, but (here we go), if I sign up for one of their training packages they will customize my workout with exactly the right amount of strength training combined with the right amount of cardio to attain the results I want.
I was actually relieved that he didn't tell me I couldn't use the ET any more. I'm not kidding. Stop laughing I'm serious!
Well the bottom line is that the switch from the Y to Urban Active, just membership-wise, cut my bill by 60%. I bought the absolute least expensive bare minimum training package they offer, which is one session per week, and now I'm paying QUADRUPLE what I was paying at the Y.
QUAD-EFFING-DRUPLE. This shit better work.
I'm not committed for more than two months. I guess at that point I'll decide if it's worth it.
But here's the thing. And I know this is going to sound like the sales pitch brainwashing me but this is math that I did on my own. Even if I stick with it for a full year, if there were a surgery that could get me into shape I would GLADLY plunk down what this will cost me for a full year to attain that goal. It's a miniscule fraction of what one would pay for bariatric surgery or even a tummy tuck (not that I've considered that, just saying). So, other than the fact that I may not be able to pay for heat or food, why am I freaking the crap out about spending this money on myself?
So Saturday morning I have an 8:30 am appointment with a woman who will teach me how to become the new, strong, confident me.
All I know is that I'm more excited about getting healthy than I've been in a long time and I'm trying really hard to imagine myself staying this excited rather than repeatedly telling myself that I'll muck this up like I always do so why get my hopes up?
This is something I've never tried before, maybe that's why I have renewed hope.
I remember when I was probably three or four years old my dad dug a ditch across our back yard to run a gas line to the grill. I clearly remember standing on one side of this gap, which couldn't have been more than 2 feet wide, crying because I couldn't get back to the house. Neighborhood kids jumped over it without hesitation. Adults stepped over. I just couldn't bring myself to do it no matter how much encouragement was thrown my way.
Fast forward about 20 years and I was going fishing with The Ex. There was a pond near our house that had a creek running along side of it, and the way to get to the best fishihng spot was to walk between the creek and pond, along a strip of solid yet somewhat uneven ground that was probably 3 feet wide. I couldn't do it. He said I could, I just lacked the confidence. I said "Ok, I'll meet you in the car".
Last summer The Man, The Girl and I drove to Mohican state park with some of The Inlaws. This was presented to me as "Let's go to Mohican". Half way there I found out that a more accurate presentation would have been "Let's go HIKING at Mohican", which would have caused me to laugh and stay home.
The couple we went with consisted of a pregnant woman and a man carrying a toddler in a carrier on his back, so even though they are both young and fit I knew it couldn't been too dangerous, steep or physically challening. What I didn't count on was a trail that runs along a river, trees and rocks on one side, water on the other, uneven path between. I had a full blown panic attack, unable to go forward or back, sobbing and humiliated as children and even people much older than me went around me. The Man walked me back to the car and we waited in strained silence, punctuated by my repeated apologies, for the rest of the group to return, at which point I had to endure a couple hour drive back home in my humiliation.
All of this fear comes from the certainty that I will fall if I don't have something to hold on to, becasue my balance is horrible. I felt like such an idiot yesterday trying to do lunges. "Hands on hips, head up, focus on the exit sign". He may as well have asked me to levatate. I kept having to stop and put my hands out to keep from falling over on my side like a fainting goat. They assure me that my balance issues are caused by a lack of core strength, and they're going to help me fix this.
This boggles my mind.....the idea that my uncoordination, something that I've always seen as being as much a part of me as my love of animals and my hatred of eggplant can somehow be changed my, of all things, physical exericise. Apparently exercise isn't just for trying to make my fants fit. Who knew?
Or maybe I'm just a big ol'chicken and all the crunches in the world won't change it. But I'll look better during my sniveling, humiliating panic attack, and that's something, isn't it?
Today's lunch: Kashi Pesto Pasta Primavera. I'm not a big Kashi fan. It's all generally too 'twigs and bark' for me, but this is actually pretty good. Too bad I can never bring it to work again. WAY too much garlic smell.