Posts Tagged ‘cardio’

I have a story

April 3, 2012

I was thinking the other day that I haven’t updated where I am in the whole working out process. If I were you, I’d think that I’d fallen off the wagon and given up for good! (Believe me, I’ve considered it!) The fact that I don’t blog about my workouts would lead you to believe that I’m just hoping you forgot that I used to! Thankfully that isn’t the case. My life, my health and mental well-being depend on working out. (darn-it-all)

You see, I floundered around for a few months after my trainer, Nick, died. Then my brother died of a heart attack. Then my other brother was hospitalized with heart problems eventuating with open-heart surgery. Started me thinking about my own heart health.

Christmas was right around the corner and I continued half-heartedly working out…until I had surgery requiring six weeks off. I loved the excuse to not work out! But, I lost much of the progress I’d made.

I was discouraged with my lack of discipline and with my body, but my husband wasn’t going to let me slip into an emotional abyss! He knows all the signs. We’ve been married nearly 30 years! He found me a new trainer pronto and I started back up in January. It’s amazing how a good workout can change one’s mindset! (It’s supposed to change your body too, but mine is particularly stubborn!)

I made the huge transition from private training to a much more public venue – Lifetime Fitness. I had to hoist my big-girl panties and just decide I wanted it bad enough to deal with the possibility of being watched. I can’t let myself look in the mirror at the gym as it’s too rudely honest. My imagination sees me as 30 pounds lighter and 20 years younger! I’ll keep my eyes averted and let my imagination run with it!

I just go where my trainer takes me and do what my trainer says to do and give it my all and hope that a middle aged, not-stick-thin mother of two, two-time breast cancer survivor can somehow inspire someone to hang in there just like me! I know I’m probably a sight to see!

So, here I am, three months along in the process with my new trainer. He’s excellent, by the way. I know I’d see more progress if I could get all my cardio in each week, but I have these pesky little nuisances called injuries to deal with! (And what is up with that?! I turn 50 and start falling apart?!)

A shoulder that snaps and clicks loudly and with searing pain. (It’s improving finally, in case you’re wondering.)  A foot that has such bad bunions that just walking without a limp is a feat. (pun) Can you hear the violins playing as I waaaaaaaaah?! And yes, the doc wants me to have surgery . . . not if I can help it for as long as I can manage!

I told my trainer the other day, if this is as good as it gets, being half a century old and needing a 50,000 mile overhaul, by golly, I’m keeping at it! The only alternative is quitting and that won’t help me one bit! In three months’ time, I’ve lost only 3 pounds! I can guarantee that if I didn’t work out, I’d gain a lot more than three! He’s still young. He just grins a confused grin. Someday perhaps he’ll listen with enlightened understanding. =)

The deal is this. Every time I go to the gym I need a reality check. I need to remind myself that I work out because I feel better emotionally; I feel stronger physically and I usually sleep better.I work out to become healthier, not because it will make me something I am not – young and svelte!  It’s always good to remind myself of this lest I get discouraged!

You’d think that by the time any person turned 50, they’d know themselves well enough to not be pestered by the same trivialities that pestered them their whole life? Well, apparently not. The temptation is still there to judge myself harshly and compete with and compare to others and come out the loser. At least I’ve learned not to give in to it. The temptation is always there, but I throw it aside.

Something I have come to grips with is that these things will still dog me, but my value isn’t based on my appearance. Maybe to some people, but not anyone who loves me.

I have a story. There’s history hidden beneath this skin! I have purpose. I have people in my life who love me and count on me. They’d miss me if I were gone. They’re just glad to have me around, and don’t care if I’m buff or tan or young or svelte.

If someone only sees me and makes a value judgement based on what they see, they’ve missed the biggest and best part of who I am! Besides, I don’t really think all that many people are even looking! They’re all too worried that someone is looking at them!

What’s your story?

expand your limits

March 8, 2011

Today I had my third “test” at Fitness Together. Pretty painless if you don’t count stepping on the scale and getting calipered to see my fat percentage!

The first time I had these things done was at the very beginning to get a ‘base line’ so it would be easy to track my improvement. I was mortified! The second time I wasn’t horrified because I knew I’d made significant strides. Well, this time I wasn’t mortified or horrified, but I wasn’t exactly ecstatic. I felt disappointment when I stepped on the scale and when he pulled out those calipers, felt fear of finding out the fat facts!

But before all that, Nick and I discussed how things have been going and I shared with him I feel like I’ve kind of stalled. I fessed up about how I’ve been buying my favorite (one of many) Easter treats, the candy coated malted milk eggs! I ‘only eat a serving’ but then maybe another one later in the day! It’s fine and dandy to eat candy, if you aren’t trying to lose weight! Duh! My calories need to count for nutrition and satiety. If my stomach doesn’t fill up, I’ll eat more, and that’s what’s been happening! I’ve been hungry hungry! Did I mention I’ve been hungry?!

So, Nick helped me decide on a few goals. It’s easy to flounder around aimlessly if you don’t keep goals in front of your face constantly. (When Nick pulled out my goals from before Thanksgiving, I’d forgotten I had made any! Shoot!) Goals are vital to success, I’m learning! If I don’t have any, (or forget I do) I show up, do the work, but don’t make time for a cardio session. I eat on the run and forget to keep track. I fudge a little here and there. Life is full, time slips by and whatdya know, oops, another week has gone by and very little progress was made. (This is too expensive a commitment to behave in such a nonchalant way!)

I told Nick it’s time to get tough with me. He’s such a good sport! That’s why I pay him the big bucks! He helps me show up, do the work, and keeps me accountable! He reminds me to write the times on the calendar in advance so that I’ve planned it in my day and it has a better chance of actually happening! (Another duh!)

Here’s where we landed. I will continue to do my two training sessions a week. But I will schedule them before 9 am. Then, I will come in to do my cardio three times a week and will come in by 7 am. (The early time is to help me not wishy-wash my way out of making it happen. I don’t like to get sweaty! Once I’m cleaned up for the day, I certainly don’t want to sweat because I’ll have to get all cleaned up again! So I’ll go in early so I won’t have an excuse to escape a workout!)

I also made a commitment to do a complete job of filling in my food chart every day instead of petering out after lunch and winging it the rest of the day/night.

And, here’s my reward! Every week that I do the work, (taking my baby steps toward grown up athletic discipline!) I get to eat 4 of those amazing chocolate eggs! 4! I told Nick a serving is 5 eggs. He said, “I know, you told me.” I was like, well then, why not 5? He asked me if I always eat an entire serving of everything, for instance, a meal at a restaurant. I said of course I didn’t. Well then, point made! Why do I need to eat 5 when 4 will do?

I want to lose another 20 pounds by the end of July. It’s possible, if I follow the plan and stick to it! So there are my goals: showing up early to do 2 training sessions, 3 additional cardio sessions, keeping a complete and accurate food chart, and then I’ll see the changes I long for.

I read recently in a book, “Don’t let anything you can change limit your life.” This is powerful. As I look back over the years of feeling inferior because of many things, but mostly my appearance due to weight issues, I realize that I allowed something that I could change limit my activities and relationships! No more! I’m on the road to health and that includes emotional and spiritual health as well as physical well-being. They are all interwoven. There’s no separating them.

Please allow me to encourage you to take those words to heart and make some decisions to change what you can change so that you don’t limit your living!

It just so happens that this weekend, March 12th, there is a Wellness Seminar at Lifegate Church from 9-4:30. There will be some excellent speakers, and topics that should interest you. Also, there will be professionals there to screen your blood pressure, spine and vision, all for free! Check out the link and try to come. The sessions I’m particularly interested in are: Creating a Personalized Fitness Plan (taught by real trainers), Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise (taught by Sara Garcia, a Wellness Advocate and motivational speaker), and The ABC’s of Managing Stress (taught by a Dr. of Psychology)! There are many more topics, all taught by professionals with plenty of experience. So, come check it out! It’s free!

Come and take your first step at making a change to expand your limits! See you there!