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Getting back into the gym

Okay, so yesterday was my first morning spin class in a LOOOOOOONG time.

Good test of my READY FOR THE GYM system. Too bad the system failed. Although I was able to make it through!

  1. I forgot my towel – but, luckily the gym had one I could use. And the ladies at Hot Shop are all GEMS and so nice, that I don’t get scared to ask.
  2. I forgot work socks – but luckily had an extra pair of gym socks that I could wear to work and then change into a pair of shoes I keep at work that need NO SOCKS to wear indoors.
  3. Was missing face cream – again, a bummer, but not a deal breaker
  4. Was missing makeup brushes – used my fingers, still looked okay
  5. No time to dry hair – but managed something work-able [no pun intended]

So this weekend’s ‘goal’ is to CORRECTLY pack gym bag! and to actually have two separate ones. One for workouts BEFORE work and one for workouts AFTER. Workouts after work need clothes. Maybe spin shoes. Workouts before work need an entire trolley of products and items to get me into ‘ready for work’ state that must be finely managed.

Both need a waterbottle.

Easy goal for the weekend and it will make me happier with myself!

Side note – it’s been so long since spin classes, that I’ve lost my ‘butt callus’ – my butt is killing me from the seat after one class. Guess I have to build that up again!

 

 

 

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Cleaning out my Junk Drawers

Internets. How you been?

I started going regularly again to the gym 4th and then on the 11th signed up for the 30 in 30 challenge [30 classes in 30 days – spin and/or yoga]. I’m about as flexible as a steel pipe, so the yoga is a struggle for me, but I realized it’s a struggle because I NEED it and OH WHY CAN’T IT BE EASY?

This morning I either had a breakthrough or a breakdown. Still not sure which.

My hips are TIGHT and I don’t mean that in a -ph- phat kind of way, [Yo, that shit is TIGHT, y’all!]. I mean that in an industrial strength elastic that has no give kind of way. So all hip openers, hamstring stretches and just general leg flexibility movements are tough. This morning, I found the hot yoga room extra hot [I don’t like the heat, but I do find the stretching easier and I like my gym which is a HOT YOGA and spin place, soooooooo hot yoga it is.]. When it’s that hot, I feel like there’s no oxygen in the air. I’m breathing but there’s nothing actually getting in my lungs. Sometimes, it makes me start to panic a little. But, I could handle that. But then, everything was HARD this morning. Downward dog was hard, child’s pose kind of hurt, side plank was impossible and don’t even ask about standing splits. It’s so far from the splits, I’m pretty sure you can’t even tell what pose I’m trying to do. Plus, a friend just lost her dog and I feel for her so much. Of course it makes me think more of Portia and how I never really had a good cry after she died because I was SO BUSY and every time I felt a cry coming on, I was at work or at the grocery store or at the yoga studio or on the C-Train. and then when I was finally home and COULD CRY, I was exhausted and went to bed.

And my hips HURT this morning. Not HURT like “Geez you need to stop this before you bust one of these hips”, but hurt like “Oh god, if I try to get out of this lunge, I don’t know if this hip joint will hold me! I’m going to fall over!” way.

So I’m there and it’s hot and I’m tired and it hurts and then I feel like I might throw up and then I just wanted to CRY. But I felt torn – should I just cry? my two sisters were in the room and the yoga teacher is a GEM and a SWEETHEART so, I could have had support. But, I’m a solitary crier and people around me when I cry makes me uncomfortable, so I probably would’ve just preferred to start crying and then leave and get in the shower. But then again, if I started crying, that’s going to make an awful start of the day and my eyes will be all red and puffy…

IDK. they say your hips are the emotional junk drawer of the body and maybe I’ve finally done enough yoga to start cleaning them out.

A new year?

I know it’s a downer, but I can’t help but think that the New Year is just an artificial construct that we have as a result of our kind of awkward Gregorian Calendar.

I know, bummer right? Don’t even get me started on how we should revamp our calendar to follow the lunar cycles, thus breaking up all months into 28 days [SO HANDY! SO EVENLY PROPORTIONED! SO GLORIOUSLY STRUCTURED AND REGULAR!!!!] and how we should celebrate more astronomical events like the equinoxes and solstices. THEY MAKE MORE SENSE PHYSICALLY AND MATHEMATICALLY, what??

Anyway, despite all this, I STILL find myself getting caught up in New Year frenzy – making plans and feeling … refreshed? Or maybe it’s just all the wine I’ve had over my vacation and now I’ve got delusions of grandeur. Still! I have GOALS, people. GOALS. And I’m putting them in writing.

1. This year, my mantra, motto, raison d’etre is “I release” – I go to a great yoga class taught by a fantastic yogi. I just love her. At the beginning of class, we are encouraged to set an intention. Last week, my intention started out as “JFC I wish my hips were more flexible” but this wasn’t yoga-y enough so I worked on it and it  morphed into “I let my hips release” and then just “I release.” I realized that I needed this in my life for more than my hips (and my hamstrings – it’s like I’m a cyborg sometimes, there’s no give). During the yoga practice, I thought about other areas in my life where I could release things – long held ideas that held me back, long held fears that limited me, expectations that were unrealistic or maybe, not ambitious enough.

As a side note, I lost a lot of weight this year and it’s had be thinking – where else can I ‘release weight’ from my life? Are there things I’m holding onto, physical and spiritual that I can let go of?

So this has all culminated in my 2015 mantra – I RELEASE

2. Get book 3 of Covencraft [Double Sided Witch] edited and out there. Get book 4 [untitled] started AND FINISHED. YES, FINISHED.

3. Get another book done in 2015 – be it my werewolf gothic romance or the shiny new idea I have now for a bionic/cybernetic cop, I’ve got to WRITE MORE. Writing is like playing the cello – I don’t get better thinking about it. I get better by DOING. So far, I’ve done a book a year and I feel like I can do more than that. I actually think 3 books a year would be a good fit for me, but I’m going to shoot for 2 this year and see how I do.
Although, if I go with my werewolf gothic romance, I’ve an idea to turn it into a trilogy with book 2 being a vampire gothic romance and book 3 being a ghostly gothic romance.

4. Stick with my Spin, Barre and Yoga. I am really enjoying spin and no one is more surprised than me. I HATE the stationary bike, but I really like spin! It’s probably because I like the ladies at my spin place so much.

Let’s do this.

Luckily, Riding a bike is just like Riding a bike!

I signed up for a sprint triathlon that runs Sept 6.

IKR? LIKE WHAT WAS I THINKING.

Consequently, I need to get in shape. Heidi invited me biking this weekend. Heidi is also the EVIL MASTERMIND behind signing up for the sprint triathlon.

She is petite, but mighty.

So, I managed to stuff my bike into my Honda Civic and meet Heidi for a ride. In the five years I’ve had that car, it’s the first time I’ve ever had to put a bike in it. Which means I’ve not taken my bike ANYWHERE. Riding or otherwise.

Luckily, riding a bike is like riding a bike – despite the LENGTHY TIME it has been since I was last on one, I picked it up quickly enough! A few rough spots where I was a little wobbly, a few times my chain and gears locked up [my bike needs to be serviced] but I did it!

Heidi took it pretty easy on me, just biking around Didsbury. Although there were a few times that I was thinking “OH MY GOD, HOW CAN THIS BE UPHILL?? IT DOESN’T LOOK UPHILL AND YET I’M GIVIN’ HER ALL SHE’S GOT, CAPTAIN!”

Heidi was able to keep up the conversation while I only managed some breathless, “Yeahs,” “Uh-huhs” and “No, no, I’m okay! I always look red like this and all sweaty SWEET MOTHER I ALMOST GOT A BUG IN MY MOUTH”

What can I say? I’m not very outdoorsy!

But the seal has been broken and I hope to get the bike out more!

yanno, as soon as my butt stops hurting from this ride!

Weighty Issues

Internets, I try to be positive but sometimes, I just need a good rant. There’s gonna be language below. STRONG OPINIONS. Those with delicate sensibilities should avert their eyes.

Let’s talk about weight.

I’m overweight. Chubby. You could even say the f-word – Fat. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. Consequently, I know a metric fuck ton about weight loss and calories and metabolisms and working out.

Let’s face it: if you want to know about weight and how it all works, don’t ask a thin person – someone who’s been fit their whole life. Ask a fat person. I GUARANTEE the fat person will know more. You can disagree, you’d be wrong.

This week my FAT BUTTONS got pushed when I was speaking with someone about weight and this person proceed to spout off that all people needed to do was burn as many calories as they ate. This person said that he/she burned ‘at least 5000 calories a day’ by moving and so could I if I chose.

CLEARLY THIS PERSON DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS. After talking more it turned out that they also never really liked sweets and always preferred vegetables anyway.

So yeah. KNOWS NOTHING. perhaps is lucky by nature to be the kind of eater that promotes a healthy weight, but in terms of knowledge, isn’t knowledgeable. But! Because they are slender, they are seen as ‘an expert.’

So, what would I, a 37 year old woman who weights BLAH BLAH BLAH [sweet Jesus you didn’t think I would put my weight down did you??] have to do a day to burn 5000 calories? According to my research [google I love you] SEVERAL HOURS OF EXERCISE. So, if I had say, 5 hrs to kill and an elliptical trainer and I went ALL  OUT for those FIVE HOURS, I could expect to burn 3500 calories. ALL OUT FOR FIVE HOURS ON AN ELLIPTICAL TRAINER.

You let me know if you have that kind of time and I want your day job.

Now! Let’s talk about LIES THE WEIGHT LOSS WORLD HAS TOLD ME AND OR USELESS ‘TIPS’ in every mag out there:

1. Are you feeling hungry? Drink water! You may just actually be thirsty! – I drink 2 litres of water a day. I’m pretty sure I’m fucking hungry. So hungry I feel sick. And the more water I drink  the MORE NOTHING ABOUT THAT CHANGES.

2. Eat some veggies if you’re hungry! – I did. I was hungry 20 minutes later. You fuckers. And my tummy hurts because raw veg are tough on me, but I don’t carry a steamer around to blanch them a bit so if I want to eat veg on the go, it’s raw or bust.

3. Make sure you get protein at every meal! – listen, I have the BEST diet of people I know. I’ve seen a nutritionist to help me ensure that I’m getting all I need. I’m still hungry like a MOFO 70% of the day.

4. Eat every few hours to keep your metabolism going – I DO. Still hungry folks.

5. Cut out those sugary drinks! Full of empty calories – I DID. WHEN I WAS 17. TWENTY YEARS AGO.

6. GET MORE SLEEP – Uh, listen. there’s a limited number of hours in the day and I already go to bed at 11 and get up at 5.45 REGULARLY. I’m pretty strict with my sleep schedule. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to fit MORE SLEEP in.

7. LIFT WEIGHTS – I  DO.

8. I’M JUST RANDOMLY CAPSLOCKING NOW BECAUSE TALKING ABOUT WEIGHT ALWAYS MAKES ME ANGRY

9. Throw that scale out! – Everyone I know that has done this GAINS weight. It’s the WORST advice out there. I don’t need to get rid of the scale, I need to manage my reaction to it. Getting rid of a scale is like…. Telling me to get rid of my hammer because I don’t like hammering nails, but then telling me the nails still have to be hammered in. You’ve pretty much just crippled my ability to do anything. and now I feel worse about it.

10. After a couple weeks, you’ll find working out is a habit you just don’t want to break – LIARS! I did a bootcamp for TWO YEARS [LOVED My trainer and my fellow work out people], I worked out with a personal trainer [Liked my trainer, saw results] for a YEAR – I still don’t like it. It’s STILL a struggle to do. I’m just not a person who enjoys working out. I’ve found stuff I like to do as far as exercise goes [dancing, ballet, cardio aerobics] but I still have to grit my teeth to get started. EVERY TIME. I don’t like it. And let me state for the record, that I really did have the BEST bootcamp trainer out there. Her name was Michelle. SHE WAS AWESOME. She worked us HARD but she was SO GREAT About it. I never had a fitness person motivate me positively before while still getting me to work as hard as I could, but she did. So it wasn’t that I had a bad experience. I loved Michelle! She was great! I still don’t like working out.

The whole weight thing always makes me want to just… stomp around and yell and hit things. It’s one of the few things in my life that makes me angry, upset, irrational, anxious, embarrassed and self-righteous all at once. I’ve been fighting my weight since I was 9 [that I can remember] and I’ll be fighting it until I die. It’s exhausting. I don’t even know how to wrap this post up. I wish I had some silver-lining advice or zen-like realization that I’ve come to. All I know is it’s all-consuming and if I didn’t have to worry/agonize over my weight, I feel like so much of my brain would be freed up to work on other things.

 

 

It’s tough to have swan arms when you’re a rhino

Look. I’m not graceful. Anyone who’s seen me do … well… anything can attest to that. I also have a MESS of scars on my body from times when I was in the middle of doing something and then POOF. No longer upright. The reason your mum tells you not to run with scissors? *jerks thumbs at self* Right here, y’all. Right here. I did it. got the scars to prove it.

Actually, I wasn’t even running, I was going up STAIRS, like an EVERYDAY occurrence and BLAMO.

but I digress!

I do like to try different things for exercise though, especially since I started having this sciatic nerve thing about a year ago. What it boils down to is NO TREADMILL FOR ME. Which was kind of a bummer since getting on and just checking out mentally had been my go to workout for forever.

I hate the stationary bike. and the stairclimber and the rower. Pretty much the only machine I could stand was the treadmill and that was no longer an option.

But I like to dance.

Hey, I’m not very good at it, but I like it. And as long as I don’t have to do it in front of other people? SCORE.

So I got some dance videos. and dance type videos. So far my faves are:

Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis (Hipcentric) – it’s like 30 min of good, old fashioned cardio aerobics. WEAR GOOD SHOES, for the love of god. It took two months for my shins and calves to get used to the bouncing and jumping but they finally adjusted. but it’s fun! and I’m not really good with coordination so I have to concentrate while I work out and that makes it go by faster.

Ballet Beautiful Body Blasts – SWAN ARMS MY GOD HOW CAN YOU BE SO HARD?? I just like to watch Mary Helen [the instructor] move. She’s so…fluid. and calm. And just exactly like a ballerina should be. I try not to catch site of my own shadow or limbs as I do this. Best not to ruin the moment. Even though I know I’m not very good at it, I really like it AND MAN! do I feel the burn. I did the butt#1 work out the other day and I felt the good burn. the one that lets you know, you did good work!

So that’s what I’m into right now. I like to work out at home. With the blinds pulled and the door shut. Then I pretend I’m a dancing SUPERSTAR. It’s actually WAY MORE FUN than the treadmill ever was!