Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clothing Issues

When losing weight, there are obstacles to overcome.  One obstacle that isn't necessarily thought of right away is clothing and the need for new, smaller stuff as the weight comes off.  And add a gym membership to the mix and you need an entire new wardrobe!  I was anticipating one of the problems and not the second.

Through my years of gaining weight, I didn't always get rid of the clothes I no longer fit in.  This, of course, made one heck of a mess in the basement where I stored garbage bags of clothes.  It was always my intention to lose weight and wear the small(er) stuff again.  One day I realized something:  When I lost the weight, I wouldn't want to wear the old, out-dated clothing and would want to reward myself with new stuff. So, I got rid of bags of clothes.  Thankfully, I hadn't gotten around to throwing out the last few sizes that I put in the basement and am very happy to have things I can wear without spending a lot of money on new.  While I happen to be between sizes right now, I have found enough old clothes that I can make-do until I need to buy some more.

When I started at the gym, no one said anything about a dress code.  Obviously, you need to wear appropriate gym clothes--pants/capris/shorts, athletic shoes, and t-shirts--but beyond that, everyone is able to wear what they are comfortable with.  Starting out, I wore my over-sized t-shirts and wide-legged yoga capris.  I most definitely didn't make a fashion statement with my clothes, but I was comfortable.  It didn't take me long to realize that I needed to upgrade my gym wardrobe to a certain extent and so I bought myself form-fitting capris.  I still wore/wear t-shirts, but they are a smaller size than before.  I found out that my trainer would prefer me to wear clothes that are more fitted than roomy--this makes it easier for him to see the muscles I'm working.  But, as long as he doesn't mind the larger shirts, I'll be happy doing what I'm doing.  It will take me a long, long time--if ever--before I wear gym tank tops or anything else that is tighter on top.  I am too used to worrying about being comfortable in my clothes and I won't be going backwards any time soon.

I knew I needed to get some sports bras when I joined the gym.  Can anyone tell me HOW and WHERE to buy one that is comfortable-ish AND will keep 'the girls' where they belong without jiggling too much?*  I started out okay.  NOT great, just okay.  And then I lost enough weight that what I had became too big.  But I haven't lost enough to go down to a size that is manufactured.  (As I said, I'm between sizes right now.)  So, I find myself wearing a slightly too small sports bra while training.  The bras I have aren't uncomfortable once I have them on, but they do cause one problem that I'm not thrilled with:  I have a uni-boob.  No matter how much I stuff, move, jiggle, readjust my chesticle area, the girls always migrate into one single boob within minutes.  It is NOT a good look.  And if anything is a good incentive to continue losing weight, this is it!

For the time being, I only need to get myself a couple of more pairs of pants/capris (and I'm not counting the needed bras) and I will be set for quite some time.  I am having no trouble with t-shirts, as I have started to make over some of my big ones and now I can wear them!  Giving a second life to stuff I already own is great--and it is saving me a whole lot of money.  I really am looking forward to the summer when I will have to buy a LOT of clothes.  (Hopefully.)  It will be fun to shop again when I can be assured of finding clothes that I actually can fit into.

*I'm sure I could find a bra easily if I wanted to spend $60+, but I'm anticipating going down quite a few more sizes and can't justify the cost for the short amount of time I would wear them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gym People, Part 2

The class I take at the gym is called 'Silver Sneakers.'  The 'Silver Sneakers' program is nationwide and has different levels to it.  I believe this program is primarily for 'seniors,' but at my gym there are people of many ages who attend.  And the level of the intensity is really NOT geared for very old and unfit people.  But, there ARE some who aren't as active who show up and they make it through at their own pace.  The people are varied and some are just wackadoodles...

There is a woman who is well into her 80s who attends the class regularly.  She comes with her daughter and is a regular sweetheart.  I believe she is 'all there,' but she IS old and doesn't keep up with the same intensity as some of us who are much younger than she is.  But, she tries and enjoys herself--what more can you ask at that age?

One man who is a regular in class is in his 50s or early 60s, I think.  I'm pretty sure he dyes his hair, but it isn't that big of a deal as he is a blond.  This guy is one who EVERY woman in the world knows.  You can look at him and just KNOW that he wore gold chains and an unbuttoned shirt during the late 70s.  He wears a sweatband around his forehead, just like the hair bands did in the 80s.  He marches to the beat of his own drummer--when the rest of us are marching in place to a 4/4 beat, he is doing double time.  Even though I know his name, he will ALWAYS be 'gold chain guy' to me.

Most women know enough to not worry too much about what they look like when going to the gym to work out.  However, we have a woman who isn't like 'most' of us.  She comes to class with form fitting pants and cap-sleeved t-shirts, all in black.  She also is in full make-up--including curled and mascaraed eyelashes!  She wears an armful of bangle bracelets and large gold hoop earrings.  I'm not sure how she manages to do any of the exercises when she is so concerned about her appearance.

At the end of class and as part of the cool down phase, we usually do a few yoga poses--which I am VERY bad at.  (I have no coordination or balance necessary to do them correctly.)  There is, however, one woman who I'm sure has been doing yoga since her hippy days back in the 60s.  She is better at the poses than our leader, so I KNOW she does--and has done--yoga on a regular basis, probably for decades.  And she has a bit of a superior air about her because of this.  I want to stick my tongue out at her sometimes.

There is another woman who is a bit overweight--not terribly--and a bit out of shape--again, not terribly.  However, every few minutes I want to ask if she is going to make it for the entire class time.  Halfway through every song she looks like she is about to do a massive face plant right on the gym floor.  And I'm not sure just what is going on with her.  No one seems to be concerned, so I guess she must be okay.

And then there is this group of women who I call the 'social butterflies.'  Whether they were friends before joining the gym or they became friends at the gym, doesn't really matter.  These days they are at class just so they can get together and chat with each other.  Thankfully, they usually gather in the last row(s) and aren't in everyone's way, but we can still hear them laughing, singing, and talking all through class.  It is a bit distracting.  But as a mother, I am quite able to ignore when it is necessary.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been quite a few more people coming to class.  I guess it is all of those 'New Year resolutionists' showing up.  I'm thinking--hoping(?)--that things will slow down in the next month or so.  I happen to like smaller classes.  ;)  But either way, I will still continue on--after all, I have way too many more pounds to get rid of...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gym People, Part 1

As with anyplace where people congregate for one reason or other, the gym where I go has quite a crew of 'folks.'  This is the first of a two-part look at the people I share the gym with.

I guess the first person I want to discuss is the owner.  He is about the age of my oldest daughter.  He is nice to me--as he should be--but we definitely aren't buddy-buddy.  His father is my personal trainer.  Anyway, M, the owner, intimates the bejeebers out of me because he is so intense.  He is in fantastic shape--as he should be--and I feel as if he thinks every person in the entire world should be in the same shape as him.  I am SO happy that I didn't pick M as my trainer--I don't know if we would have gotten along that well.  MY trainer seems to understand my limitations--well, my 'right now' limitations--and doesn't push me beyond what he thinks I can handle.  M, on the other hand, might not do the same.  I was thinking of going to the once-a-week yoga/tai chi/pilates class that the gym has, but M runs it himself and I don't think I'm quite at the point where I can make it through one of his classes--even if it is supposed to be 'low impact' and 'relaxing.'  I'll have to see what I feel like in a couple of months...

When my trainer was gone during the Christmas holidays, another trainer filled in for him.  I absolutely ADORE T and wouldn't mind it at all if he was my trainer.  The guy is funny and talks non-stop.  We got along very well and I would never hesitate to have him 'put me through my paces' if the opportunity arose.  Down the road, if I ever need to change up things by getting a new trainer, I will definitely ask T to take me on as a client.

My trainer is a year older than me.  He was raised 'up north' just as I was.  He had his own rock band and still plays guitar.  Both he and I are convinced that the best music came from the 60s and early 70s.  Before becoming a personal trainer, G was a registered nurse and supervisor in a cardiac care unit.  He also served in the Coast Guard and retired after 20(?) years.  We get along wonderfully and have a lot to talk about besides what is going on in the gym.  I know I wouldn't have kept up with what I'm doing if our personalities wouldn't have meshed as well as they have.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the goalie for the university's hockey team trains at my gym.  I am absolutely amazed at what this kid can do!  I have been known to stop my training session just so I can watch this guy work out!  I have seen him jump--from a dead standstill--SIDEWAYS over a hurdle that is 2-3 feet high.  And he does this not once, not twice, but numerous times without stopping.  His strength and flexibility are astonishing.

One young guy trains at the same time I do and I just found out he is a skier.  I was watching him the other day and he is very close to the goalie in strength and flexibility.  I watched him jump--from a dead standstill--over platforms that were 18 and 24 inches high and then he jumped straight up onto platforms that were 30 and 36 inches high.  And this was accomplished with no running start whatsoever.  The leg muscles on these guys are incredible.  I only hope I will be one-tenth as strong when I get in my best shape.

My gym specializes in personal training.  The main areas that they help people with are weight control and pain management.  They also seem to do quite a bit of rehab work.  I have seen a little old lady--must be in her 80s--working with one of the trainers and it seems as if she must have had a stroke and is working her way back to health.  There is a young guy--late 30s, maybe early 40s--who I think is either a war veteran or accident victim.  He is in the gym every day and it seems as if the main focus for him is trying to walk 'normally.'  He has other problems, too--it seems as if there is some brain damage--but physically he is doing quite well.

One guy that astonishes me is the one with a severe physical handicap.  He was born with almost no legs, just feet attached to his lower body. His attitude is great and he gets around wonderfully--he drives a modified Prius--and he works with a trainer a couple of times a week.  From watching him in his training sessions, I would pity anyone who tried to intimidate him in any way.  With his upper body strength, he doesn't need to worry about anyone taking him out!

There are a couple of people that I have seen who HAVE to be runners.  You can pretty much pick runners out of a crowd mostly because of their physical features, but also because of their attitudes.  (And I apologize to those runners who are NOT like this, but I know too many who ARE this way.)  Almost all of the runners that I know--these two included--have the same air of superiority.  It is as if they feel they are better than anyone who doesn't run.  And it really pisses me off.  I don't understand the attitude and really don't appreciate it.  But, these two don't really get in my way and I don't have to interact with them, so it is okay.

Of course, there are many more people in this gym who I could talk about.  There are the ones who I'm sure have had bariatric surgery--you can almost tell by the amount of skin that hangs off of them--and there are the ones who have been going to gyms their entire lives.  Some of the people seem to want to be left alone to their own devices and others are there to be social.  It is a grand sociological study every time I walk through the doors.  And in the next post I will talk about the ones who go to the same class that I do--and this is where we find the REAL wackadoos!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And We Have Lists...

At the end of every year, you can't pick up a magazine/newspaper or watch TV or listen to the radio without being bombarded with end-of-the-year lists.  There are 'best books of the year' and 'best songs of the year.' We also get the 'worst of' lists,' too.  This leads us right into the 'awards' season and MORE 'best' lists--unless, of course, you are a 'Razzies' fan and then you can read all about the 'worsts.' We are fascinated with lists and it seems to get more so every year.  I really wonder if it all has to do with our politically correct stance on competition between kids--the 'you get an award just for participating' turn we seem to see these days.  Maybe it's human nature, but we really do want to know who is 'best' and who is 'worst'--so we have lists.

For the most part, lists are nothing more than starting points for fights.  Everyone has an opinion on who performed the best in a movie or who put out the best song.  The best author is no less subjective than the best song writer.  And this makes for a lot of heated discussions--especially on the interwebs.  To fight about these things is a complete act of futility--no one will change anyone else's mind no matter HOW much they 'scream,' 'yell,' and 'holler.'

About the only time a list isn't completely subjective is when it comes down to money.  You CAN list the best SELLING books/albums/songs.  The top-grossing movie is easy to figure out.  These are not subjective and really can't be disputed--but some will STILL argue for the sake of arguing.  There are people like that.  I know some of them.

While I don't always--or ever ;)--agree with any of these lists, I won't get sucked into an argument over them.  It is best to keep opinions to oneself, usually.  However--and you KNEW I was going to say that, right?--there are two things I will ALWAYS defend.

Music lovers--make that ROCK lovers--have debated who the best guitarist of all time is.  The lists usually have two names at the top:  Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.  I'm from the era, so I remember Hendrix and remember how good he was.  However, my number one is Clapton--always was, always will be.  Hendrix could possibly have surpassed Clapton if he had lived, but because of his shortened career, I believe Clapton can be crowned 'Best Guitarist of All Time.'  And after all this time, I don't see where he has lost much, if anything at all.

The other debate I will have is 'Best Defenseman to Have Played in the NHL.'  The two guys who flip-flop between #1 and #2 are usually Bobby Orr and Nick Lidstrom.  Being a Red Wing fan, I probably should be in the Lidstrom camp, but I'm not.  I was a Bruins' fan back in the day and I will always defend my naming Orr as 'The Best,' because I remember him well.  He redefined the position and changed things for all of the guys who played defense for the years after him.  It was a challenge to watch him play--both a joy and hard at the same time.  His career ended far too early and we, as fans, are much poorer for it.

So, what list always get YOU going?  Do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing more with lists?  Or do you ignore them more than pay attention?  Let's talk!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Should Know Better...

Every year, like clockwork, I breathe a sigh of relief on the day I go for my annual physical, because IT IS DONE.  And every year, as I walk out of the doctor's office, a little voice laughs in my ear and says, "SUCKER!"  Today was no different than any other.

My first appointment of the day was at the dentist office.  Thankfully, and because of my OCD when it comes to my teeth, it only took the hygienist 30 minutes to do the cleaning AND I don't have to go back for another 6 or so months.  A welcome outcome for someone as dental-phobic as I am.  I really didn't expect any other news from my dentist and continue to hope that my 'not needing any further dental work' streak stays alive for a long, long time to come.

After getting home from the dentist's and a quick shower, I was off to the confrontation with my PCP.  I had very little hope that the appointment would go well, but, as it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised.  I don't ever think I will consider this doctor a friend, or someone that I like very well, but today she was actually okay.  And we really didn't have too much to disagree about.

I was surprised that the doctor spent somewhere around an hour with me today.  I wasn't overly thrilled to find out that she will not be doing any pap smears (and maybe pelvic exams) on me any longer.  She follows the guidelines that some association/group puts out and because I had a complete hysterectomy and have never had any abnormal pap smears, I (supposedly) don't need gynecological screenings any longer.  While I don't enjoy pelvic exams, having one and finding that there is no problem always made me feel a bit more secure about my health.  I guess this is part of getting older.

The doctor and I did go round and round about my staying on estrogen.  She is adamant about me not needing HRT for any reason whatsoever and rather poo-pooed any of my concerns over going off.  She insists that the risks outweigh any (imagined) benefit I might be getting from the drugs.  Of course, I really couldn't come back at her with any facts, as I hadn't done research recently, so I just looked like a petulant child who wanted to eat a cookie instead of green beans.  She very, very reluctantly agreed to write my prescription--but she HAD to be a bit snarky about 'if you come in with a stroke/heart attack/blood clot, etc, don't blame me because I told you the risks.'  The same kind of treatment I got when I went in for my shingles vaccine.  Obviously, the woman was sick the day that compassion and bedside manners were taught in medical school.  After this, we moved on and had a pleasant time for the rest of the appointment.

First of all, she took me off of the statin I was on.  YAY!  Basically, I have been on it to help counter the possibility of any problems with the build up in my carotid artery.  She said this drug could possibly be a part of my memory problem and as such, she thinks I'd be better off not taking it.  She really isn't convinced that this medication would actually benefit me in any practical way and with my cholesterol NEVER being a problem, she thinks it is perfectly safe for me to discontinue it.

With my recent weight loss, my blood pressure has been on the low side of normal, so she halved my daily dosage.  She feels as if I will be able to go off of BP meds if I continue to do as well as I have been.  Also, I may be going off of my Prilosec sooner, rather than later--another bonus of losing weight.

All of my blood work came back as 'excellent' except for my thyroid levels.  My numbers are quite low, indicating a hyperthyroidism--and I am being treated for hyPOthyroidism.  This would indicate that I am being over medicated, but the doctor wants to wait and do some follow up blood tests before we tweak my meds--something I am thankful for.  (I'd rather wait and be sure than mess things up even more if it isn't necessary.)  She also had another blood draw done to check my B12 levels, as a low B12 count could also be part of my memory and brain fog problems.  Just another thing to wait for.

Even though my exam showed no other problems, this appointment just lead to MORE appointments.  Of course, I need to have my mammograms done and she is having an ultrasound done on my carotid artery to make sure there has been no negative change.  But the biggest thing to come out of today is the testing that I will be going for because of my memory/brain fog issues.  I am being sent to a neuropsychiatrist to undergo a battery of tests to make sure I am not in the early stages of dementia.  This is to be a baseline with which we can compare future tests should there be a worsening problem.  I was going to say no at first, but figured I may as well get it over with while we still have insurance that will cover the cost.  The biggest problem with this entire ordeal is that it WILL be an ordeal.  We only have one neuropsychiatrist here in town, so it will take a considerable amount of time before I can get an appointment.  The testing itself takes several hours and I'm not sure how many days.  After the testing, it takes some time for the results to be interpreted.  All in all, I wonder if I will know anything until next year.  ;)

The biggest thing I took from my appointment today is that I guess I CAN work this doctor after all.  She looked at me quite a bit differently because of all the work I have done to get fit.  She was encouraging and very congratulatory.  It made me feel good.

I will need to have my thyroid levels checked again in six weeks and then have a follow up visit with the PA in four months.  I would assume I will be seen four months after that and then we are back to next year and my next physical.  And the world keeps turning...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I HAD Good Intentions...

I was all set to post on a regular basis this year and here we are, 13 days in, and I already went almost a week without posting.  Oh well, I THOUGHT about it, at least.  ;)  Anyway, here is what I have been up to:

I only made it to the gym three times this past week.  Last Monday I got up to go to class and realized that my yearly physical was scheduled for tomorrow and I needed to go in for some blood-letting.  As this is one of my LEAST favorite things to do in my life, I figured I should just bite the bullet and get it over with.  So, I went to the medical center instead of the gym.  Thank goodness--otherwise, I probably would have put off the lab work until Friday, when I would have been forced to go.  The tech who drew my blood did EXCELLENT work--as do all of the ones who work in that office--and I didn't feel a thing.  She did leave me with quite a nice bruise, but that is more ME than HER.

I made my regular appointments with my trainer and we did my evaluation, so not much in the way of regular training.  And Wednesday I just couldn't get out of bed because of tiredness!  But I was back there on Thursday and Friday, feeling refreshed and rebooted!  YAY!


As I said, I have my yearly physical tomorrow.  While I don't like going to doctor appointments, I am liking it even less now that I have this woman as my primary care physician.  We STILL haven't clicked and I don't think we ever will.  It doesn't help that I only see her once a year--you can't bond when you have no interaction.  Tomorrow will be interesting, to say the least...

This doctor had a problem with me right from the start, because I use Enbrel.  She had a patient die while on the med and doesn't want ANYONE using it--she feels as if it is the direct cause of the patient's death, which I question.  So, my insisting on staying on the drug does not sit well with her.  Tomorrow I will let her know that I want to stay on my hormone replacement therapy and THAT probably will not go well.  She wants me off of estrogen and the sooner the better.  If I wouldn't have resisted, I would have been off of it the first time I saw her.  As it is, she has been decreasing my dosage for the last few years and--I think--has every intention of taking me off this year.  I'm not going to let that happen, if at all possible.  Since lowering my dosage, I have lost so much of myself that I can't even imagine what I would be like without any estrogen replacement.  My memory and cognitive abilities are for crap these days.  I find myself 'searching' for words that I can't remember--and not always 'finding' what I'm looking for.  There are most definitely subtle changes to my personality--I find that my reading addiction is not what it used to be.  And everything is so subtle and came on so gradually, that I'm sure no one else notices but me.  I won't even get into the PHYSICAL changes I have noticed, as so many of them could be considered 'vanity' issues, and I'm NOT a vain person.  So, tomorrow there may be a battle.


The gym has announced 'big changes' starting this week.  I don't think things will change with my trainer, but the class I take might have a complete make over--and I'm not too happy about that.  I don't mind new music and new routines, but it almost sounds as if the class will be a bit more advanced than it is now and that doesn't make me very happy.  This class is the closest thing to a 'beginner's class' that they offer and I STILL can't do it easily.  There still is 'too much of me' and I'm still not flexible enough to do everything, so if they advance the class too much, I may be left in the dust.  And THAT won't be a good thing.  I won't find out what the changes are until Wednesday, so...


I also have an appointment at the dentist office tomorrow.  WHAT was I thinking?  But, by the time I realized I had made two appointments on the same day, it really was too late to do anything about it.  My PCP books yearly physicals a year in advance and the dentist office schedules cleanings every 6-8 months--closer to 8--so to change an appointment would have made me have to wait months more.  And this is why  I will be running around like crazy in order to get to both appointments.  YUCK!  


We have lost almost all of our snow.  There are large areas of bare ground in our yard and this is just not the way things work out here.  But, the last week or so has been crazy warm--we have had highs in the 40s, so the snow has gone bye-bye.  Today the temp has 'plummeted' to the lower 20s, so we are back to seasonal temps.  This is supposed to last for the next ten days and actually be even colder with temps in the teens.  We should get some snow, but it doesn't look as if it will be too much.  But anything is possible with The Lake, so weather forecasting is little more than guessing here.


I finally jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon last week.  I'm finding it to be a very good substitute for most of the lotions/oils/moisturizers I use/have used and it costs WAY less than almost everything I have ever tried.  (And believe me when I say 'I've tried them all!')  I will give this a while to see if it is something I will stay with or if it is one of my 'tried it and will move on' things, but as it is right now, I will probably keep it in my arsenal as one of, if not THE weapon of choice for my dry skin.  The only problem with the coconut oil that I can see is that my cat LOVES it--as in, she licks my skin after I use it!  ICK!  I am able to get her to stop rather quickly, but I wish she wouldn't even START!


And for something that most, if not all, readers of this blog are totally uninterested in:  The hockey season is beginning on the 19th!  The Wings are in training camp and I will finally get to watch them on the ice on Tuesday when their scrimmage will be aired on TV!  Right now I have a permanent smile planted on my face--and that will stay there until the Wings start tanking.  THEN I will get surly--and THAT isn't necessarily a good thing.  ;)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I Would Have Lost That Bet

Way back in the late spring, when it seemed all but inevitable that the NHL was going to lock out the players this season, I knew the entire season would be lost.  In the early morning hours today, a tentative agreement was decided on after a marathon 16-hour negotiating session between the league and the players.  We will now have a half-season's worth of hockey.  And this is why I will never make it in the stock market:  I ALWAYS make the wrong choice.

For the past months, I have been trying to convince myself that my life was fine without hockey, that I could make it through a winter without my beloved Red Wings.  As soon as the news came down, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl going on a date with the star quarterback.  All of my bravado of "They won't have ME to kick around anymore." and "I am DONE with this Mickey Mouse league." and "I can live without hockey." went right out the window.  Despite the abuse the NHL piles on the fans--and they DID abuse the fans with this bullshit--I am willing to go back for more.  And I can't wait.  The season should start on or about the 15th and they should play 48-50 games before the playoffs--'only' 32-34 games fewer than a normal season.

So, NHL/NHLPA, whip me, beat me, call me dirty names--I WILL come crawling back.  A little wiser and a little less caring, but I WILL come back.  I almost hate myself for being so easy.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Catching Up With Sleep

Since joining the gym, I have had to re-join those who are required to get out of bed at set times.  It has been YEARS--at least since The Youngest left home--since I have needed to worry about my sleep habits* and it is very hard for me to get back on track.  So, I find that the weekend is my time to 'catch up on my sleep.'  And that is what I did today.  Yuck.

I got to the gym four times this past week:  two times with The Trainer and two class sessions.  My training on Thursday didn't introduce me to anything new, but The Trainer brought back some 'oldies but goodies.'  I got to hit the heavy bad again--I REALLY need to get my own gloves--and enjoyed it just as much as the time before.  But, I had to do several things that I'm not particularly fond of--especially this:

I've done this several times before, but Thursday was the first day I was able to flip the tire BY MYSELF!  And I did it 6 times!  Even with my T-rex arms!  This isn't my favorite thing to do, but it makes me feel good when I see progress.

The slide board got another go at me, but in a different way.  And THIS one I REALLY dislike.  This is called mountain climbing:

It is going to take me a long, long time to get to the point where I can do this comfortably--if it ever happens.  My arms aren't nearly strong enough to hold up my entire body for an extended amount of time and I'll have to lose a lot more weight before I come close to being able to do this well.

I also got to pull the heavy rope again--yay.  It isn't very difficult and it's getting easier all of the time, but it most certainly works the arm muscles!  My arms are beginning to regain the strength I have lost over the years, but, again, I have quite a way to go.

I am scheduled to see The Trainer twice again next week and will probably only get to class twice--I have to have lab work done in anticipation of my physical on the 14th, so I will likely miss one day of class.  (I can't see going to the gym after fasting overnight--just isn't going to happen.)

*Of course, I DO need to get up for appointments, etc, but that is the exception, not the rule, in my life.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Cure For What Ails Ya!

Many people will say that regular exercise will keep depression at bay.  I can't 'aye' or 'nay' to that, but I DO know that I miss the gym whenever I don't get there for a few days.  (Such as over the holidays.)  I find that three days a week is the MINIMUM I need to go for a workout in order to feel pretty good about myself--and if I manage to get there for a full five days, I have an enormous sense of accomplishment.  Now that things are settling down, I am able to get back to my Tuesdays and Thursdays with my trainer and try to make it to a group class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Depending on how worn out my body is, I will get to the gym all five days.  However, with my horrible sleeping habits--and they don't seem to be changing any time soon--and how OLD my body is, I don't always make it for a full five days.  As I get in better shape and get stronger, I will probably even do double sessions on some days.  But not yet...

The other day The Trainer had me do something that has convinced me that it is the cure for any problem a person might have.  It works out every bit of hostility, depression, anger, and frustration--and I found it incredibly FUN.  I'm talking about working with a heavy bag.

Okay, so I wasn't doing it quite like the boxer in the video.  First of all, the bag was stationary--and I didn't 'dance' around it while hitting.  I did a 3-1 combination--three jabs with one hand and then a power punch with the other.  After working both sides, I then had to do a speed drill, just jabbing as fast as I could with both hands.  After doing this for several minutes, there was no way I could have any amount of frustration or anger left in me.  I actually smiled through the rest of my workout and can't wait until The Trainer puts me back on the heavy bag.  The only downside:  I had to use the gym's boxing gloves that have been used by more people than I want to think of.  The only thing that comes close to their smell is hockey gloves--and hockey gloves stink so badly that players give 'face washes' to other players as an insult.  If I knew I was going to need them every week, I would buy my own gloves and avoid the smell!  One of these days I may even buy my own bag for the house.  I do think if everyone worked with a heavy bag every day, most of the world's ills could vanish.  ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


I am the world's most uncoordinated person.  I don't dance because I probably look worse than Elaine does in this video:

So, one of the things that we work on in the gym is my coordination.  And to get better at that, I need to get my 'core' stronger--and The Trainer has some interesting things at his disposal for me to try.  We usually have to go very slowly, because I come close to face-planting on a regular basis.  The first day he had me try this, was one of them:

Yep, I was put on a skating slideboard and told to 'go for it!'  To say it took me some time to get the hang of this thing is putting it mildly.  The only way I can describe this is for someone to pour pure olive oil all over a linoleum floor and try to walk from one end of the floor to the other while wearing wool socks.  NOT an easy task.  The first time I was on the slideboard, The Trainer had to hold the back of my shirt to make sure I was able to stand upright.  On Monday, not only did I perform well, I was given an extra task to do--when I hit the side board, I had to tap the top of an orange cone with my opposite hand before sliding to the other board and doing the same there.  Not only is this quite a workout, but I actually found myself having fun while doing it!  Six months ago I would have said you were crazy if you told me I would be doing this--and I would have said you were certifiable if you told me I would be having FUN!  I'm amazed at how quickly things are changing for me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Changing My Life

I wasn't going to write this post for a long time, but decided that too much is going on to let it go to waste.  So, I am announcing the big change I/we made in my life this last year.  Now I will tell a (too) long story.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I have a weight problem--and have had trouble with weight for most of my life.  I have never said out loud just how much weight I have gained since we got married and probably won't until I've lost it all.  I definitely have work to do in order for that to happen.  And that is my big news:  I have joined a gym.  And I have a personal trainer.  Here is how all of this happened.

Eight or so months ago, K was bothered with his left shoulder.  He wasn't sure how he injured it and the doctor said he might have a rotator cuff tear.  Of course, that would mean surgery--which is NOT a walk in the park.  But first, the doctor wanted him to go and see the physical therapists and have more tests done to see how bad his problem was.  As it turned out, he DIDN'T have a problem with the rotator cuff and physical therapy helped him quite a lot.  The trouble is, when they cut him loose from therapy, he didn't continue with his exercises like he should have and the pain started to come back.  That is when he decided to join the gym and get a trainer to help him.  Of course, losing weight and getting in shape was part of the reason to pay the money for this process.

When K came home from his evaluation session with the trainer, I made my decision to join the gym, too--and work with his trainer.  During my evaluation, the trainer asked me what my goals are and I said, "To begin with, I want to lose 50 pounds and stop making 'old people noises' when I get up from a chair."  Yes, that is just a start for me, but a good one, nonetheless.  And so things began...

That first day in the gym showed me just how out-of-shape I really was.  Looking back, I am surprised that my trainer didn't just give up on me right then and there.  To say I couldn't do much is putting it mildly.  I don't think I was able to do a side plank for more than 15 seconds and I could barely raise my arm and leg while in the quadruped position.  I 'sucked wind' for several weeks until I started to get more comfortable moving my body--and while losing some of my weight.  And lose I have done.  Right now I'm at 30 pounds lost--it would be more, but the holidays got in the way.  ;)

Having a trainer is both a blessing and a curse.  The Trainer keeps me on task and knows just how far he can push me so that I get a decent workout.  I do much more than I would do on my own.  However, there are days I want to punch his face because I don't want to do what he tells me to.  I never knew I could do the things with my body that I do and still be able to walk under my own power.  And I never knew I could be so proud of myself AND feel so physically and mentally good about my body!  UNBELIEVABLE!

I'm finding it quite cool that I go to the same gym as the goalie from our local college hockey team.  (You KNOW that would be a boost for me.  :D)  My trainer is the gym owner's father and he is the same age as K and I are--plus, he was born and raised 'up north' like we were.  We have gotten to be good friends, as well as trainer/client.  The people at the gym are fantastic and make you feel so welcome--a greater group you couldn't find.  I'm very happy I made this very hard decision and can't wait to see my progress through this next year.

***I don't think I will be making this blog all about my 'transformation,' but this is a big part of my life and I will be writing about it.  Mostly, you will hear more about my mishaps and the strange and wonderful things I'm doing.  Going to a gym is quite interesting.***