Excuses

I haven’t taken an evening walk since Sunday. I was supposed to go on a hike Monday but my friend, Liatt, forgot and didn’t have appropriate shoes with him. Then once I got home I don’t know what my deal was.

Wait…yes, I do. It was my niece’s 10th birthday. I got all sappy over how the time is wooooshing by and I went to the store and bought her favorite cake and I baked a cake. I did not walk. I baked. And ate. A cake.

Tuesday was gym day! Since my knees were feeling good Tyler decided that I needed to kick the leg workouts up a notch. And notched up we did. Ouch.

First I was warming up on the treadmill like I do but then he got over there and determined I was being a lazy ass so he knocked it up to a 15 incline and wow. Cardio. Yeah.

Then over to the leg machine area we went.

I did three sets of low squats. I was impressed with how low. Vast improvement there. Vast. I noted it, Tyler agreed. My form was a bit off so he made me watch myself in the mirror to keep my chest more upright as I squat down instead of squatting over. And I don’t like watching myself in the mirror and I guess that shows and he said “Man, you look so sad when you watch yourself in the mirror.” That statement was far deeper than he likely realizes and just typing it out right now kinda makes me really sad. Seems I have more improvement in the liking myself arena to go…

Then I did 3 sets of 10 body weight squats on the squat machine.

Then I did 4 sets of 25 leg presses where I had to squat it all down and then just push it back up a quarter of an inch or so 25 times then all the way up and hold/rest then repeat. So 100 reps. And I did it. And when I would do the squat down motion he was all “Oh, good flexibility!” and all I could think was “not going me much good to be flexible now!” but I didn’t say that out loud because I know how to be appropriate sometimes. Being flexible when you’re single kinda seems like a waste.

Then leg curls. 15 reps with 40lbs, easy peasy. 10 reps with 45lbs, easy for about 6 or 7 then straining and grunting. Then 10 reps with 50lbs, easy for maybe 5 but I tried to them quicker and I have no idea how I really did.

Then I had do these elevated lunges. My balance is hilarious and he moved during one of my reps and I damn near fell and killed us all! In hindsight I should have went on a Christian Bale style tirade! Dammit! I hate missed opportunities.

Then I did 3 sets of the chest press with 10lbs. No crying! Mostly, I did the whole night with a lot of ridiculous laughter because why be so damn serious? When he sat down to show me how to do this motion he didn’t have any weight on the machine. And then I went to sit down and he was all “woah, woah, woah! I gotta put weight on that thing. I only did it that way so you’d think I’m way strong.”

I told him I’d tell the Internet how strong he is. So I am. Tyler is, like, so strong, you guys. He might be the strongest guy I ever met.

More laughter ensued. More of him accusing me of bashing him on my blog since I haven’t give him the link yet. I don’t know what my damage is.

Then I did some lat pull downs with 50lbs. Because I’m a fucking beast! *flex*

I awkwardly did some dumbbell curl and presses. Another thing that he made me watch me do in the mirror. Because I wasn’t doing the rotation at the top of the press correctly. Because I’m just weird.

In between all of the arm stuff I decided to shake out my arms. And for some reason I bent down a little bit and then just let my arms go limp and then I shook them around and then boom! I’m singing “Yoooooooou…..you got what I neeeeeeeeeed….” in my head and laughing my ass off and then I have to explain that to a dude that may not even be as old as that song is and oh, shit. That’s a real thing.

We ended the session with me doing some decline crunches. I started out super strong. And then I couldn’t get up very high and then I was lower and lower. So, I did one set of 10-ish. More like 5 good ones with a quick decline into crap. Then the last set was 15 and that whole thing was ugly. BUT! I managed to get myself on and off that bench without falling. It’s like getting on a horse kinda and I can do that. If I have a platform and the horse is trained to stand there while some non horse riding person that likes to ride a horse once a year hops on there.

Then I didn’t walk that night because I had a chilli cheese dog on a pretzel bun for lunch, which made Tyler proclaim “Who provided you with that??!?!” because I think secretly he knew it sounded awesome and he wanted to plan his dinner plans for the weekend. And I went out and met a new person over ice cream. Which Tyler knew was the plan and he destroyed the use of my legs and then was all “hope dude’s not a creeper!” and I was all “you will have to live with that if he is.”

So, this session was much better than last Thursday’s because there was no crying and just a lot of laughing and I acknowledged improvement and that’s good, nice things.

I’ve been mostly in a spiral of stupid behavior since I cried at the gym last Thursday. But I’ll stop. I always do.

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Where we find out I’m a genius

Friday night I did not walk. I didn’t get out of the office until 7ish and then I made plans to meet up with a new person for coffee or something and there just wasn’t any time.

Saturday I didn’t take an official walk but I did go to IKEA, which I think totally counts as a walk because that store is huge. I also, finally, got a knee brace.

brace yourselfI even wore it a bit.

I, also, wore the fancy sports socks with all the compression and added padding Friday night and all day Saturday as I ran my errands and I noticed that my knee feels better.

This come on the heels of me realizing that I wear the flattest of all the flat shoes all of the days of the week and that they are likely not helping my knee recover at all.

not good shoesThey are cute, yes. But they are not good for the knees when the knees need extra support and rest.

So, this morning I went for my walk and my knees felt fine and I felt good and I walked longer than my usual walk. The time was slower, however, but I decided it doesn’t matter because I walked more. Walking more is better than walking fast. Says me. Based on nothing at all.

And that is the weekend report.

Today I Cried

Today I went up the stairs at the office but not down. My knee felt fine and good. Mostly.

I’m frustrated in lots of areas at the moment and my mood this week has been a wee bit erratic. Yay!

Anyway. I went to the gym and I beebopped my way in there and I got on the treadmill and started my warm up and Tyler came over and quizzed me about how I felt and I told him, leaving out the boring frustrated in lots of areas of my life at the moment part because who wants to hear that? Gawd, I’m so bored just typing it.

So, the plan is to do legs today! Which is good because I don’t want my legs to backslide while I wait for my dumb knee to feel better. But, I’m not icing it or elevating it and I haven’t bought a brace so how do I expect it to get better? Magic?! Yes. Because I believe. And? I’m stubborn and blah blah I’ll ice my knee!

First up he has me try the super leg press in lots of different angles and depths before he settles on one that he feels won’t jack up my knee. It’s really very good that he is there because without him I’d likely be on my couch or jacking up my knee by being dumb. He prevents that. And I did three sets of the super leg press. Two sets with 100 lbs and one with 150!!! Because he is sneaky.

Then I half assed my way through some leg curls. I did 15 with 40 lbs and then kinda sorta did two sets of 8 with 60 lbs but not really because he was helping me. “That’s what I’m here for!” he says. Which, he is, and I admitted as much but right now I’m being a grump. Watch me grump, yo.

After that there was three sets of 12 different leg presses with 90 lbs.

I make it sound like I do all the sets in a row. They are intermingled. But it’s easier for me to detail each thing in a separate paragraph. We mix it up! Now you know that.

On one of the leg presses he decided to tell me put ONE leg on the press and just do one leg at a time. The damn thing didn’t even budge and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. It didn’t move. Not a bit. Good lordy be! But, hey, it was good for a laugh and I didn’t beat myself up over that one.

And by this point the standing glute kick backs were just not happening. It felt weird. I was unable to get in the right position. My leg was shaking. The other leg hurt. Neither of us could figure out what my damage was so this was a wash. He noted it, I’m not bothering with the data because it’s all very silly.

Now that my legs are all noodley we went back to do some arm stuff.

Three sets of 12 FM chest presses with 20 lbs of weight. He made sure I was doing it right and then for some reason I talked about punching people in the face and getting out my aggression. I told you. Erratic mood. I don’t just go around being aggressive! Not unless it’s of the passive variety. Which I’m way proud of that behavior.

Did you see that? I’m not being nice to myself…

Then…oh, then. The FM shoulder press. (because I googled for a video of that I now know that FM = free motion! yay learning!) This is the type of motion that is the very hardest for me. Anytime I have to push weight up over my head like that my arms get fatigue super quick and it hurts and they feel like they are going to collapse and then I get so fucking frustrated that I almost cry every time. Every. damn. time. This time? I didn’t stop it. I wasn’t in the mood to stop it. So I cried for about 30 seconds and then shook it off. Because, dammit. It’s absurd that I can’t push 20 lbs of weight over my head. It’s absurd that I can’t push 15 lbs of weight over my head. If Tyler was here and I said that to him he’d correct me and point out that I DID do it. Because, really, I did. I get about four or five reps in and then it all begins to fall apart. I keep trying. And he jumps in and helps and then I want to cry and, well, I did. I cried. I know I already said that but I’m saying it again. Because I cried. At the gym.

He pep talked me about how I’m improving and that there is progress and that I know it and he knows it and that I shouldn’t use that as a reason to get discouraged or depressed and I assured him I wasn’t. But I might cry about it again. I can’t promise I won’t. I’m that person today.

So then he tried to explain to me how to do a bent over dumbbell row with rotation. And I do the bent over dumbbell row. But then adding in the rotation confused me. And it was amusing. And I was trying it with 20lbs, which wasn’t too heavy, but he had me try them first with the 5lb. And then he showed me and he was showing me on his torso where my hands should be at the end of the rotation and I was all “oh, under the boobs. Just say that!” and he was all “i showed you this!” and did the torso example again and I was all “pffft. under the boobs. bam” and then I kinda got it. My right wrist likes to not stay straight, which weakens the arm but I did three sets of 10 of these things. Kinda. I guess? My form was all over. But I was still bent over lifting weights so it’s not all bad, I don’t guess.

Then I drove home and decided against the walk because my knee did hurt. So I lay in the floor and tried to stretch while my girl, Gladys, jumped all over me and gave me kisses and ate my hair. She’s a weirdo. I like her.

For dinner I had delish talapia tacos with black beans. I made that. Go me.

So, there’s the story of the day where I was frustrated to the point of tears at the gym.

Stone Cold Stunner!

I did my walk on Monday and I continued to read “Wild” a bit in the evenings and I won’t say anything about it other than that woman was a real mess and I feel way better about how I’m approaching my hike and my life and how I’ve been living even though I was living it sad on my couch. A mess! My friend Wendy said that was her goal in telling me to read it. Perspective.

Yesterday was Tuesday and we all know what that means! GYM DAY!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO! PUMP IT UP!!!!!

My knee still hurts. Which, really?!?!?!? REALLY?!?!?!? So, I get there and Tyler is all “What?” and I’m all “My damn knee! I’m gonna get a knee brace. And I’m gonna shotgun beer!” and he was all “You gonna do the stunner on people, too?” and then I was very impressed. Because Stone Cold said so.

But then he showed me the type of knee brace that I should buy and wear and I said it wouldn’t go well with my cutie dresses but we both agreed that neither would the Stone Cold variety and so I pondered the type The Rock used and I like to give people the elbow and I could really get into asking people questions and then cutting them off with a nice, loud “IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!!”

My pop culture references are very dated. I might as well go write for “Family Guy” now. Ew.

Then there was a brief lesson on why I feel shopping at WalMart kills the human spirit and then off we went. For Upper Body Workout Day!

I had to do four sets of rope exercises. Up and down, side to side, wavy, etc. It makes me giggle. What in the hell would happen if I could ever take some of this stuff seriously?! We shall never know because I like to laugh, dammit.

Then I had to do push ups on the bench. Like, an incline push up. And I did the first one and Tyler said “Good!” and I said “What?!?! That was as low as I could go, dude.” and he said “And it’s better than some. Keep going.” And I did. So there. For four sets.

Now on to the weight machines. And, look out because I’m going to use some technical gym jargon! I KNOW! Shit’s getting real. That, and Tyler shared my workout chart and I can refer to that.

First we did the cable cross reverse back flys. I did these with 2.5 lbs. And I felt lame and I whined and asked lots of questions about why 2.5 lbs with that motion was so much harder than 40 lbs in other motions and he started talking about physics and my eyes glazed over and I drooled and looked like Homer Simpson in the presence of a donut. (relevant, timely, go me!)

Then I did the tricep push downs. First with 12.5lbs. Then 17.5lbs. Then 22.5lbs. Killed it! Boom.

On to the FM Chest Press. Sounded more fun that it is, right? Nobody was pressing on my chest or touching it or, likely, paying it any attention at all. What a crock! But I did these and they kinda sucked but not as much as the other chest machine and so I asked my questions and there goes more physics and oh, look….something shiny in the distance… These were done with 20lbs.

Moving on to the FM Seated Bicep Curl. With 20lbs. Until the last set and I wanted to get 10 in so we dropped it down to 15lbs so I could get the reps in. I’m fine with that. Because I wasn’t on my couch.

Then a seated row machine. He started me on 30lbs. It was a wee bit too easy and I said so. I don’t see that notated on my chart! I should do that. But I won’t. So I did the next two sets with 40lbs.

Back extensions happened with 15 lbs.

Then crunches on the Bosu ball. My abs hurt today. I didn’t know it until I was laying in the floor giggling with Gladys. Painful giggles. And I giggle every time I’m on the bosu ball because I feel like a fat little turtle that can’t flip over and I said that to Tyler and he was all “what?!?!”

Then gym time was over! And I had a text from my friend Wendy and I went to Taco Tuesday! Because that is a real thing that you cannot say no to! Because of tacos. And Wendy time. Which meant no walk.

But I did walk tonight. And I walked the mile in 16:03 minutes. Improvement!

I’ve been doing my stretches and I’ve not walked down the stairs except for when I had to when there was a fire alarm but down hurts so Tyler said to just walk up and I said yes.

Tomorrow is Thursday gym time. Hopefully I won’t be too hurty and I can do any old thing that  is on the plan!

Stepping it up

I had Friday off from work but I didn’t sleep in because I had to get my puppy to the vet for her spay surgery. And then once I got home, I went for my walk. Because I said I was serious about stepping up my cardio to see some weight loss.

Then I came home and started a deep, Spring cleaning in the house. So I was busy most of the day.

Saturday I woke up and took my walk and did more cleaning.

Then today I woke up and hopped on the scale and saw a lower number. And then? I went on my morning walk.

I’m using Map My Walk to track my speed, route, and distance. And I set a goal to try to do a 15 minute mile. I have about a minute and 45 seconds to shave off my time to get there. I think I can do that.

wpid-screenshot_2014-04-20-12-32-51.pngI must hit the record button or the stop button at different spots each time because I take the same exact route every time. So I dunno what the distance difference is all about. And I must have really been smoking along the sidewalk on Saturday because my time is about the same as the other days but I stopped a few times to take some photos of things I saw along the way. Because even though I have goals and I’m serious, I still recognize the importance of stopping to smell the roses.

wpid-20140418_090518.jpgAnd so far today I have taken my walk and done more cleaning. I did mention I was doing a deep, Spring cleaning, right? It’s not really that my house was that gross. Even though it seems that spending all that time on the couch because you are sad isn’t just bad for you and your shape, it’s bad for the shape of your house. Depression hurts, people. The commercial is right.

In addition to kicking up the cardio, I am back to making time to have breakfast at home instead of picking it up at some gross fast food place on the way to work. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow but I started the habit on Friday to get that ball rolling.

wpid-20140419_063231.jpg

I know it doesn’t look like much but it really does fill me up.

Also, yes…I eat peanut butter. On twelve grain bread. Because I do not do fad type diets. I do not judge those that do and I don’t go around telling anyone how to eat and I kinda wish people would stop doing that to me. But I’m going to continue to eat peanut butter on twelve grain toast and it’s going to continue to be fine.

I have also had time to start reading “Wild” this weekend and already I’m all “woah…yeah…I kinda see why I was told I should read this.”

Though, I will say this…I don’t know if I’m really going to experience any grand trans-formative moments during this whole process. I just know that one day I got inspired. To do more with myself than I had been. And that I’m pretty proud of myself for the work I’m doing at the gym, that I’m sticking with it, that I’m actually trying to make myself better and do things that at one time scared me. And, yes, I have been sad for a long, long time. And I’ve been lying about it to myself and to others for a long, long time. But I’ve been sad. And I’m still a bit sad. But at least now I’m being active in my life. I’m not just sitting on that damned couch waiting for things to present themselves to me. I’m an active participant in my life now. In my (almost) everyday life. And it’s good.

But this book is good. And I read a passage about her packing up her bag and then not even being able to pick it up and I laughed and laughed and then got quiet and worried that could be me. Except I’m planning for that. But I read it right before bed and then I dreamed that I was on the hike and my bag kept throwing off my center of gravity and I kept falling over to one side and then the next and I just couldn’t move forward and it was terrible. So, clearly there is some anxiety there. That or the Kaboom! fumes from cleaning the bathroom did some damage. One or the other.

So, what I’m saying is that while I am seeing a wee bit of parallels with me and the Cheryl person (but I also see myself in Ted Mosby so I may have some issues and/or narcissism going…) I’m not sure that I’m on that kind of journey here. But I could be wrong. We’ll see.

All I know is that I’m happy to be an active participant in life again. I have more steps to take for that to be a full blown thing but I’m doing much better than I was. And I am so looking forward to the canyon hike. And Jeff, one of my friends that will be on the hike with me, mentioned how much he is looking forward to gazing up at the sky once the Sun is on the other side of the Earth and all we can see is the Moon and stars and distant planets and I just suddenly felt…um…I’m not sure how to describe how I felt. I felt more than excited. It’s just really going to be amazing. And I’m going to be present in those moments and I kinda hope that they turn out to be moments that I will cherish forever.

That was cheesy. But I’m cheesy at times.

So, this weekend I have stretched, and walked, and ate less, and cleaned. And I’ve read and watched TV and drank wine and tried to keep a very exuberant puppy calm. And I’ve sat outside and I’ve worked on the pool. And I talked to my sister. And I made tentative plans to see Prince. And I was active. And there you have it.

The only bad note is that my right knee still hurts. That bugs me. I want that to stop and I’m not sure how. I read that ice, elevation, and rest are the best things. But that’s just counter productive to me right now. So, I dunno. We’ll see.

We’ll see.

Healing and Rest and Stretching and Forward Motion

Once I was home from work yesterday, I decided no more fartin’ around. I have to get in the routine of doing my evening walks again and so I strapped on my new shoes and off I went on my walk.

This time, instead of turning at my usual spot, I kept going. I decided to see if I knew how to get back to my neighborhood a different way that would just be a loop instead of backtracking. And I did! And it was great. I don’t really enjoy backtracking if I can avoid it so being able to do one continuous loop is awesome.

Then when I got home I checked all of the email that had come in and among that was one from Tyler. He set up a shared folder with all of my work out stats for me to look at to see my progress. And after I checked all of that out, I felt so much better. I’m definitely improving. I’m using heavier weight that I would have ever imagined I was, and I’m building a good foundation. On top of that I also know the names of all of the exercises I’ve done, too. Which isn’t as fun as when I say “I did that pulley downey thingy” and sound super girly. Which I’m not, really. Other than I like to wear really cute dresses.

Today I rested my knee some more and put some arnica gel on it to see if that would help. I did notice it was feeling a wee bit better so I did go down to the third floor bathroom a few times instead of staying on my own floor. And that worked out pretty well.

Then later in the afternoon my stomach just started feeling really just wrong and I resorted to some Alka Seltzer to help calm it down. Because I did not want to miss out on going to the gym.

So, I went to the gym. And Tyler informs me that he’s super sore and having lots of pain in his knee and I explain that my belly isn’t the happiest in the world and we determine that it’s all very fortunate that we were going to work on teaching me how to stretch today. It benefited me and it benefited him. I like that.

But first…I asked him to measure me again. I wanted to know if I’d actually done anything to my body.

My weight is the same.

My waist and my hips are the same. That right there made me decide on the spot that I’m kicking up the walks, man. I gotta do them every single evening. I gotta get that waist down. And I gotta build up endurance and you do that with cardio.

My thighs are bigger! Which he said was good because it means I’ve built up muscle in there. Which is great. Same with my upper arms. I guess my biceps? Not, like, a lot bigger but bigger.

Then? The body fat percentage test! Last time I was 33.4% which meant I was obese. Today? 30.6%! No longer obese! In the upper area of the average range! YAY!!!

Then we stretched. For an hour. And it was great. And he’ll get them on paper and put it in the shared folder so I don’t have to remember on my own. Because this is all very new. And that’s nice. I’m learning new stuff. That’s a good thing.

I came home and spent time with the puppy and took her on a wee walk and then spent more time with her and ate my dinner. Then I went on my walk. The new one I took last night. And I used that Map My Walk app for the very first time. And when I hit the mile and the app started talking to tell me how long I’d been walking and my rate of speed and all of that? I jumped a mile high. I’m not even kidding. Scared the shit outta me. I had no idea the app was going to talk to me!

So now I am home and updating the blog and telling myself in my brain to keep up with the walks and to change my eating a bit. Which I can do.

I’ve joined some Meetup groups that hike and I’m going to start going on those that fit in with my schedule. And I’m going to start walking with my backpack and just things like that here and there.

Progress is being made. I’m pretty pleased.