Saturday, September 17, 2011

The battle of the bulge, redux (don't call it a comeback)

I'm back, and am prepared for full less than two months I will be 37 years old. I am 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and weigh 180 pounds. And I am 35 (40?) pounds overweight. I've had so many epiphanies about my health in the past two years that they can hardly be called epiphanies. I've had false starts with exercise, eliminated carbs, stopped drinking, and so on and so on. There are reasons and reasons for this, but I'm focused on looking forward at this point.

I really feel as though I am poised on the brink of something. There are changes for the better lurking around the corner, hiding shyly in the shadows, and I just need to be brave enough to meet them, to introduce myself. I want to record it all- every trip to the gym I don't want to make, the sore knees, the soul-searching, the job hunting, the ways in which I push back against the hamster wheel to carve out what *I* want out of this life of mine.

To begin....I started out on a good stretch of exercise, for me. Last Wednesday and Thursday, I did 1/2 hour of cardio (elliptical on Wed., treadmill on Thurs.) right after work. I slept well, drank lots of water, and avoided the scale. (Let's not torture ourselves any more than we're due, right? Right.) Took a day off on Friday, and figured I'd take a couple of classes over the weekend.

Was the beginner level step class fun? Absolutely. And honestly, rather than feeling defeated by the fact that women 20 years older than me were rocking it while I struggled, I let that buoy me up: they can do it! they try! I can try too! Afterwards, I got a high five from one of them and felt amazing, although sore. I accomplished something....then I went for a swim and lounged by the pool for a bit.

Then there was Sunday. Two thoughts about the Bosu class:
  1. I am carrying around wayyyyy too much weight. I wish I could temporarily remove it while I work out, then put it back on like the lead apron it is.
  2. Bosu might not be the best idea for people who have problems with their knees.
Ouch. By Monday, I was hobbling. I persevered- cardio Monday before picking Charlotte up at afterschool, and I actually felt better- but by Tuesday I was just worn out.

Nothing went according to plan Tuesday. I got to the gym after work, and in the cardio room I managed to pick a wonky treadmill. Although I tried to focus on the running/walking and the music, I kept getting distracted by the TVs, and paying more attention to the utterly ridiculous Michelle Bachman than my workout. And I kept getting static electricity zaps. AND one of the gym employees was washing equipment down with a bucket of what smelled like Murphy's Oil Soap right next to me.

By the time I got home, I was in tears, and couldn't really explain why. I had a bowl of cereal and some water and went sadly to bed.

I did some thinking before heading to work Wednesday, and remembered reading Anne Lamott's description in one of her books (Plan B? Grace (Eventually)?) of how she began to evolve her perceptions and opinion of her own body...she writes about treating her thighs, a least favorite area, as revered old "aunties" instead of cursing them for what they are not. I thought about that a lot, about having reverence for my own physical self, and working to make that self stronger out of that reverence and not some weird self-loathing. I talked to a friend midday who reminded me of how hard I work, and that there is time, time, always time. Time to work on it, time to take for myself. Time, the one thing I never feel I have enough of. She's a wise woman, my friend, and I am lucky to have her.

I need to be as patient with myself as I am with everyone and everything else.

I've taken some time off from the gym at the end of this week. Instead, I went to a Daisy parent meeting with Charlotte, did some shopping, and spent some time catching up with friends at a party last night. I scrapped the plan to hit step class in favor of sleep and vegging out this morning, and for once I don't feel guilty. There is tomorrow.

Soon: my adventures in personal training, gluten-free baking, and trying not to hate on pictures of myself.