She’s So…Busy?

If you’re as weird as I am, hopefully you read that title to the tune of “She’s So Heavy” by the Beatles. But you’re probably not that weird. Good for you, you cute little normal person! Nah, just kidding – seriously, go get some Beatles in this morning. It’ll help ease those Monday blues a bit.

So it’s Monday, and I’m behind on blog posts, but I’m not going to get caught up any time soon at the rate everything is happening with work. I’m not going to blab about stuff that’s going on in the office, but let it suffice to say that there are tons of tasks, and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, but it’s getting better all the time. (Ha, see what I did there? Earworm!)

What I will go ahead and do is tell you a little about how Iron Tribe Fitness has been working out for me so far. Right now I’m still in a 101 class that meets three times a week. Each class, we go over two or three new (to me) exercises, and practice correct form, then do a WOD (Workout of the Day) that incorporates several rounds of reps of each exercise. We’ve learned how to do air squats, situps (a different kind than I’d ever done before), dead lifts, strict presses, kettle bell swings, pushups, front squats, ring dips (using those rings that gymnasts use), and double ups, which is a new way to jump rope that I’m still getting figured out. The workouts are broken up in such a way that each day feels challenging, and I’m worn out just enough from the effort, without overexerting myself.

Best of all, if I literally am not able to perform a certain movement, the coaches give options, like reduced weight for lifting, or using a modified movement that still works the muscles but doesn’t require quite as much effort. That’s great for me, since my arms are really weak. I’m able to do about 20 regular pushups before my arms give out completely and won’t push me back up, but if I move on to using a bench to modify the angle of the pushup, I can do a few more. Today during ring dips, I was pretty certain that I wasn’t going to be able to do any, but I got in about 10 before my arms refused to push me back up. Then I moved on to a modified triceps push up, using a bench. Same muscles, slightly less difficult, more reps accomplished in the end. Yay me!

Each day begins with a warmup, then instruction on how to do each exercise, and moves into a WOD, followed by a little lecture on nutrition or health/fitness subjects. The entire class is only an hour, but it feels like I get a lot for my money. Besides arms, the hardest effort thus far has been squatting. My hips and lower back are really out of whack, and have been for years. I can tell that squatting is helping get my glutes and hamstrings back in shape, and my back is benefitting from it, but it’s been years (maybe four or five) since I’ve been able to do a genuine squatting movement, and my hips are so tight that it’s a physical impossibility for me right now. There’s a lot of squatting happening in class (it’s tied in to most of the weight lifting stuff), so I’m constantly getting told to try for a little lower, just a little lower. It’s slow going, though. It almost feels like I’ve got rocks at the tops of my quads, making it impossible to get my hips any lower. But I’ll get there. And it feels good to have faith that that’s a real possibility.

I haven’t lost any weight yet, but it’s only been a week, and I also haven’t been a faithful adherent to the Paleo diet yet. I’m trying not to feel guilty and be mean to myself – that’s how all of my diet plans fail, and I’m tired of beating myself up. I deserve better. I deserve to be nicer to myself. So that’s what I’m doing. Every day I try my best to avoid grain, beans, sugars, sodas, and processed crap as much as possible, and in general I’ve been pretty good compared to before starting to try. Each week I’ll just try a little harder, and we’ll go from there. Eventually I’ll be doing it correctly.

Right now, even when I do mess up, I’m just concentrating on reminding myself that it’s not permanent, and it doesn’t mean I should just give up. It’s a cue to be kind to myself and try a little harder when the next meal rolls around. It really helps that I’ve been trying to note how I feel after meals, and without fail, if there’s any carby or sugary thing involved, I feel pretty bloated, slow, and icky afterwards. Trying to keep that correlation in mind at the beginning of a meal for optimum success.

The coolest thing to me is that there are so many great before and after stories at the gym. Iron Tribe doesn’t make a big deal out of how awesome their transformations tend to be, but I keep meeting people who’re really excited about being members, and have great stories about weight loss, increased stamina, and overall improvement in quality of life. I’m really eager to be one of those people one day. Hopefully before I’m 64. Hehehe…

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