Random Thoughts: December Edition

Doing a back squat at the gym a few weeks ago.

Doing a back squat at the gym a few weeks ago.

Thought 1:
Tonight at the gym, I lifted 75 lbs over my head! I’m really proud of myself. When I started at Iron Tribe a couple of months ago, I was having doubts about being able to lift the training bar (15 lbs). Of course, I was able to do it, but at first I didn’t have the confidence to try that hard. But I did, and eventually I added on weight and saw that I could lift the bar + weight, and by the end of the first month I’d moved up to the regulation bar for women (35 lbs). I’ve done a back squat at a little over 100 lbs before, but tonight was the first time I tried adding weight on to a push jerk, and it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

I’m not crazy over-the-moon about lifting weights, but I do like the workout, and I love my gym. I feel like part of a tribe there. Everyone knows everyone else’s name, and people are accepting of your limitations. No one is a meathead, and no one’s trying to intimidate anyone into lifting heavy or being a badass. We’re all just trying to do our best there together. It’s by far the best gym experience I’ve ever had, though I still miss Bikram on a daily basis. Eventually I’d like to try to fit both into my schedule, but I’m not going to push too hard. One great thing at a time. I’ve got time.

Thought 2:
I was getting acupuncture about a year ago, and really liked it, but the community clinic I visited shut down and then there were no affordable services in my area. A week or so ago, I found out about a new one right down the street from me, and made an appointment for this last Saturday. Just like I remembered, I really loved the session. It’s hard to explain, but there’s something so relaxing about it. I typically pass out within minutes of having the needles placed, and wake up naturally about an hour later. The needles are barely noticeable, and there’s no pain, just a little bit of weird pressure at some points, more like feeling the weight of the top of the needle (the top is just a bit thicker than the shaft) as it quivers above your body.

I was the last person in the clinic that day, and when the acupuncturist came to take out my needles, her dog got out into the clinic, too. Or maybe she let him out, I’m not sure. I’m wondering if it’s the latter, because he ran in the room and instantly made a beeline for me. He was a pit bull mix of some sort, a beautiful, muscular black and white dog. I was still reclined in my chair, just letting that peace roll over me, and he sidled up to me and laid his chin on my shoulder, nose to my cheek, and stared at me. It’s hard to explain, but I felt like it was a gesture of solidarity and support. It was the best possible way to end the session. In hindsight, I should have asked if he was a therapy dog, because he was so calm, and stuck by me until I left (after about 10 minutes of kisses and chin scratches, of course – I love animals). I’m excited to go back next time – the acupuncture is great, but there’s nothing like getting in some dog time.

Thought 3:
While I was at the acupuncture clinic, I saw a sign for a Reiki healer. I’d like to see another one. The last one scared me a little. Or I scared me a little. Either way, I could really use someone’s help in learning how to ground, shield, and straighten out all of this energy. On Saturday, the acupuncturist told me that my aura was muddled. Though I didn’t necessarily trust her to tell me that, since it wasn’t her area of expertise, I know I’m not feeling much more than half OK most of the time – sometimes less than that.

Also at the clinic, I saw a sign for a new school that’s opening in the new year, that will have some new age-y types of health/spirituality classes. I felt like I was meant to see that sign. I can’t wait to find out what kinds of opportunities open up in the new year.

Thought 4:
Trying to figure out how to afford to go home at Christmas, but I’m really having trouble with it. My folks live in NC. I wasn’t able to get a flight ahead of time, so once I’ve got the money towards the end of the week (maybe next week), the flights will be really expensive. Add flight to car rental and cat sitter, and we’re looking at around $1k to go home – not counting the money I’ll lose by taking off a week of work, which is considerably more than the cost to go home. I’m going to have to tell my parents that I can’t afford the trip once again, and once again I’ll break their hearts.

But what’s really getting me down is that my uncle said that my mom was upset at me and talking about it during Thanksgiving. I don’t know what was said; he just said it in passing, but I can only imagine that she’s pissed that I haven’t been home in years. If I had to take an educated stab in the dark, I’d guess that she doesn’t understand how I can take trips to Chicago once a month and not be able to afford to go to NC. I really hope I don’t have to have a conversation with her about how business travel and reimbursements work. I think I’ll look into how expensive it would be to fly them both down here for a trip, instead. Except that they hate it here. Hmmm.

Thought 5:
I should go to bed. It will soon be time to start this whole insane mess over again…

Body Body Body

So if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, at some point (or probably more than just one point) you’ve seen me laugh about/complain/despair/bitch about/at least mention my weight. I want to be a strong, self-confident woman who just doesn’t give a damn about not being physically perfect, but let’s face it, I’m not. I’m fine with being crazy, opinionated, weird, witchy, and occasionally even a bit wild, but when it comes to flabby arms, I’m just not able to let it go.

In high school, many moons ago, I weighed in at 135 pounds, and was skinny fat – no muscles in my upper body, eating whatever I pleased, not really working out much other than half-heartedly running track in Sophomore and Junior years. Back then I wore JNCOs & midriff-baring “baby tees” with a belly chain when I went out. Yup, it was that kind of party. When I got to college, I gained 20 lbs within a year, just eating everything I could get my grubby little paws on and not exercising at all. A few people told me I looked better than ever, and since I wasn’t interested in changing my lifestyle, I chose to believe them. Fast forward to four years ago, when I tipped the scales at 168 and decided I need to change. Ever since, I’ve been losing and gaining, never getting back to 168 but also never making it below my college weight of 155. I keep trying, but nothing I’m doing on my own is working. My ability to push myself to achieve a fitness goal is just not there, and I’ve started and stopped fitness plans so many times now that I can’t even list them all. I can’t do it on my own, and I accept that I need help.

So I’m getting help. A month ago I was put on a new nutrition plan by an award-winning bodybuilder, and haven’t stuck to it religiously over the holidays, but I’m back now. When I first went on before the holidays, I dropped weight and felt better pretty quickly. Now, after a few days back on, I’m dropping weight again and feeling a lot more energetic than I felt for the better part of the last month. But that’s only half of the battle (OK, I’ve heard that it’s actually 80% of the battle, but you know what I mean).

That’s why I’ve started training with a personal trainer. Lucky me, I was just hired to handle the marketing for a well-known personal training company in town, Pro Fitness Trainers, headed up by the amazing Eric Capers (Side note: Yay – go me!). Part of me getting to know the company and really be part of the Pro Fitness Trainers team is to get in shape with them, see how they work, and hang out at their gym on Freret Street. So on Saturday, I went in early in the day for what Eric calls a “fitness assessment” (and I call “intro to torture”). Despite my fear, Eric was amazing and really cool as he pushed me to my physical limits to see where my muscles needed improvement. The answer: everywhere. After 30 minutes, I was beat, and he had a good idea of my fitness levels. Today I went in for a full training session and learned that the fitness assessment was child’s play in comparison to what’s really going to be happening for me in the gym from now on.

My body is in serious trouble, so I’m glad that I’m still young and going to Eric now before I fell apart too much more. I worked for an hour today, sweating buckets, heaving mightily to lift five pound weights, grunting like a sad little piglet during the second minute in plank position. While struggling with (hydraulically assisted) pull up #7, I asked “So have I EVER used these muscles?” Eric gamely replied, “Nope, doesn’t look like it.” He’s transformed hundreds of people over the course of his career, and inspired thousands more in his college football career and throughout his time in the gym, and his kindness and optimism are contagious. He told me today that in three months, he’d make me a brand new woman. I believe him, and can’t wait to start seeing results.

Right now I’m certainly already feeling results. I can barely walk – poor little ol’ me 🙂

A Very Good Weekend

I don’t know how much I weigh today. Don’t really want to check; this weekend was a bit debaucherous. One of the biggest rules of trying to make life changes in the diet and exercise department is that every day is a new day. If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up – just have fun, then in the morning, set your intentions anew and get right back on the healthy lifestyle wagon. I had a bit too much fun over the past few days, starting with making a beautiful pot roast with veggies with a baguette and horseradish cheddar on Friday, then continuing through the weekend with a few beers, lots of leftovers, and even bacon and a heaping large cup of gas station cappuccino yesterday. Of course I was pretty ill yesterday afternoon as a result of packing in the meat and dairy like that. Neither has ever gotten along swimmingly in my system, and I was bound to suffer the consequences of a three day celebration of all things that make my insides churn.

So now I’m being good. Today I’ve had soy yogurt with blueberries and honey, an apple and peanut butter, a cup of coffee with coconut milk, some kombucha, and a slice of really good swiss cheese that is giving me a bit of a tummy ache. I’ll probably have sauteed mushrooms and peppers, eggs, and a cup of soup tonight before heading off to spin class. I was supposed to start running again this morning, but forgot to set the alarm and woke up at 8am instead of 6am, killing my chance for morning exercise for today. It was raining early this morning as well though, so didn’t miss much. I’ll try again tomorrow. Thinking of putting music on my cell phone and getting a couch to 5k app so I can start from scratch with intense guidance, since every other attempt at starting slow has put me at 2 miles and aching hips.

I also went back to the hydration station today at my local Planet Beach. They’ve got to think I’m insane, sitting in their sauna capsule every day, never getting a tan or any other services. There’s really nothing like it, though. It’s the best thing to the steam of a Bikram studio I’m going to find in this city, and though I’m not sure how much of my sleeking down can be attributed to being heated and steamed into submission for 20 minutes a day, it makes me feel like a million dollars. Now to start working harder on muscle tone every day. If I’m going to be able to swim by the time I go to Croatia this June, I’m going to be wearing a kick ass bathing suit, too!

25 Days

Today’s Weight: 157.4 lbs.

Plateau’d again. It’s the least I could have expected. I’m a little scared about today, since I’m supposed to go to a happy hour going-away thing this afternoon for a friend of mine, and I really don’t want to screw up today. I have too much work to do this afternoon to take time to go to the sauna or go running, so kind of thinking that I should take today as my off day, and jump back in full force tomorrow. I’ve got Zumba in the morning, anyway, so if I take it easy and don’t eat or drink too much today, then run a few miles after Zumba tomorrow, I should be relatively on track. We’ll see how I’m feeling at 5. Maybe I can fit in at least a sauna trip before heading to see my friend.


Day 26

Today’s Weight: 157.6 lbs.

Yesterday was tough. The hydration station (sauna-like pod that I’ve been sitting in once a day) was out of order at my local Planet Beach, so I couldn’t go do any laid back sweating. I was also really bored with everything I had to eat in the house, so the temptation was high to order in some Chinese. On top of that, the thought of going to the gym again for the third day in the row was unbearable. What’s a girl to do on an off day like that?

The answer yesterday was to get the hell out of the house as soon as my work day ended. I decided to take a bike ride to the beautiful Audubon Park in Uptown, then run the 1.8 mile track, and ride back. In all it was a little over 10 miles on the bike, plus the 1.8 mile run, which had me working out for about an hour and 45 minutes straight (I’m a slow biker and runner :-). By the time I got home, I was drenched in sweat and feeling really proud of myself, so I made a slightly larger dinner than I’d intended.

Yesterday’s meals included yogurt & honey for breakfast, a cup of fresh carrot/apple/parsley juice as a snack, sauteed mushrooms on toast with a cup of soup for lunch, and another cup of soup with a fried egg, toast, and a fake sausage patty for dinner. I also had a serving of PopChips and a Red Stripe Light. Today I won’t eat quite so many solid and processed things – I’m going to stick to more veggies and at least two glasses of fresh juice, if not more. It would be great to hit 155 by Sunday.

My boyfriend is away again, and I won’t see him until Thursday. It would be great if I could be under 155 the next time I see him, and even better if I could be 152, which would put me at 10 lbs lost since he left town. I’d be so proud of myself. It’s amazing what just a few pounds does to my figure – you can see the outside lines of my abs now, my face looks thinner, and I just feel so much more attractive and graceful. Probably all in my mind, but I don’t mind keeping it there if I can keep feeling beautiful.

27 Days and Counting

Today’s Weight: 158.6 lbs.

I haven’t been measuring, but I will next Monday. I’m losing weight pretty rapidly now as a result of doing all of the things I’ve been too lazy to do since I moved to New Orleans: restrict my carbs, no snacks (but I eat 4+ meals), no cheese, no alcohol, drink lots of fresh juices, run at least 2 miles a day, go to one gym class a day, use contouring oils & creams, and sit in a 115 degree sauna every day for 20 minutes. It’s time consuming and really not that fun, but even if I’m not going to be 140 in 27 days, like hell am I going to be 160. Today the only class they’re offering at the gym is an abs workout, so I might up my run to 3 miles.

Time to get back to work.

Later Edit: OK, so I measured right after posting this, and OMG!!! I updated on the side widget, but whoo-hoo, looks like I’m doing something right. Gonna keep going…

42 Days: Morning

Today’s Weight: 159.4 lbs.  I’m not going to cheer until I’m at 158, which I thoroughly plan to attain by tomorrow.

Today’s Plan: Work like the busy little bee I am.  There’s so much to get done for my day job right now; PR call at 1, call with our web designer at 2, and between now and then I’d like to get our client database up and running properly, or at least pinned together.  There’s so much data that needs to be cleaned.  Plus, I’m not finished with adding photos to our Flickr site, so there’s also that to think about.

Most important (and exciting) part of my day as I see it, though? ZUMBA! Yup, heading back to Zumba class this afternoon to dance some more of my butt off 🙂 Have you ever gone to a Zumba class? If not, and you’re curious, here’s a little video to show some of the moves.  Granted, these people are good, and I stumble around and look like an idiot, but it’s just as fun and dynamic as they’re making it look, no matter my (lack of) skill level!

Alright, time to get crackin’.  I’ll catch up with you all later in the day.