Tag Archive | gym


Today, even after being asleep by 10:15 last night, I did not want to get up for the gym.  I hit snooze a lot, then finally decided, I barely have time for a workout, might as well skip it and just double up tonight.

Recognize a pattern here?

I do.

As I sat on the edge of my bed I realized that going to the gym this morning was less about the workout and more about my character and sticking to my commitment of 2 workouts a day.  Am I going to do what I say I am going to do?

SO as I sat there, I thought, even if I go and have to turn around and come back, then at least I got there.

I want to be the kind of person that can be counted on to follow through on my commitments.  I am pretty good when the benefit of my actions is for someone else or if someone else will be directly affected, but when I am the only beneficiary, I pretty much suck at it, a lot.

So I put on my big girl pants, laced up my sneakers and headed out the door.  I got there with about 25 minutes to be able to do something.  I surveyed the equipment and decided to do the Octane first.

6:30 mile.

Then came the character test again.  I had a little more time left.  But really, if it is all about just getting here, I suppose I could be done, right?

Wrong.  Now that I am here, am I going to push myself the way Demond would if he were here?  How will I maximize my time?

After about 10 minutes of arguing with myself about all of this, I decided that a little punishment/reward was in order and I did 5 minutes on the stair climber.

213 calories burned in about 11.5 minutes of actual working out.  Not bad.  But man, what could have been accomplished if I had gotten there sooner?

Overall, I am glad I made it.  Tonight, I will go back and I won’t leave until I hit 1500 calories burned for the day!


The Dreaded Fat Slap

I am not sure if I wrote about this before, I looked back over all my old posts and couldn’t find anything, so if I did, my apologies.  I know I shared this story in my TBL video last winter/spring, which is probably why I am not sure if I shared it here or not.

Anyway, anyone who has ever had a massive amount of weight to lose will know EXACTLY what I am talking about when I talk about the Phenomenon of the Fat Slap.   For those who don’t know, let me explain.

When a person of a certain size exercises vigorously strange things happen.  Weird noises are emitted from the body that should not be there.  If one does the given activity once or twice, it can sound like a fart, which of course is quite embarrassing!!  However, if one does the given exercise/motion repeatedly in a rapid fashion, it can sound rather like applause…except there is none!  Again, quite embarrassing!

What kinds of exercises might cause this sound to be emitted you ask?  Well, just about anything that causes you to move up and down.  Jumping Jacks, Jumping Jessie’s(jacks followed by a squat), Olga squat pulls, anything that is jumping related really or really really fast running!

What causes this you ask?  Again, let me tell you, for those who do not know.  A brain may tell its body to jump or run as the case may be.  So the body jumps.  However, what happens is, the body starts its return to earth long before the belly has had a chance to get up to the height of the rest of the body.  The body lands and shortly thereafter, the belly lands too…and slaps against the body…causing the dreaded “noise”.  Coach says this is my body applauding my efforts….I however, want it to withhold its applause and simply show its appreciation by growing smaller and smaller and simply SHUTTING UP!!

So how does one combat the dreaded Fat Slap?  Well, one doesn’t run at high rates of speed.  One doesn’t do jumping activities.  By refraining from such activities, the body is not forced to go in two directions at once and ultimately meet together in that humiliating fashion.

So…you must know, that I am not just talking about the Fat Slap in theory.  Sadly I have experienced it and work hard to never experience it again…up until now, my work has been mostly in avoidance methods.  However, when one hires a trainer to do a certain job that they are trained and experienced in doing, it is best I shut up and listed and do as they tell me to, right?

Theoretically.  However, when G.I Jess tells me to jump in some fashion I find myself timidly doing so.  She has pointed this out to me, about how timid I am being, but I am not sure she knows why.  (well if she reads this she will know now:-)  When I am supposed to hop backwards into a squat and then pull Olga to me, I first hop one foot back then the other.  Part of this is a balance thing.  NO WAY do  want to fall in front of all the mirrors and the entire gym!  Part of it may also be due to leg fatigue, at least at the end of a set.  However, much of it has to do with Fat Slap avoidance.

I realized all of this tonight when G.I Jess asked me to do a two footed jump and hit the pads she was holding with my knees, 15 times in a row.  At first I didn’t think I could do it.  I don’t like jumping!  I think I have good reason, don’t you?!  I started out pretty timidly, first one foot then the other going up.

She didn’t like that move.  After a couple tries I got a “Good Job” from her.  However, with that one came the “noise” and I reverted back to my one-footed ways.  Now mind you she is standing right in front of me,bent over.  In my imagination her entire view is taken up of my belly going up and down inches in front of her face and then…out pops this noise…Awful I tell you!!  Awful!

While I have all this going on in my head, I also want to do this stuff right.  I mean seriously, if I am not going to do what she asks me to and trust her expertise, why am I paying her?  By the time we got to the second to last set of this awfulness, I was finally getting comfortable with the motion and she wanted me to attempt it without a pause between jumps.

“Dear Lord, she knows not what she asks for!”, I thought.

I did it though and with every jump I heard, “SLAP!  SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!….PAUSE….1 FOOTED…Pause…SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!

Either she didn’t notice or simply did not care or had no idea what the noise was.

So for my last set, I decided, I would just pretend it wasn’t happening. I did it.  Shot off 15 jumps in a row, no pauses.  Lots of Slapping going on….but whatever…one day, the Fat Slap will be a distant memory…for me and for her.

It is fascinating to me as I sit here, how much internal conversation goes on about this stuff and how much it holds me back from what I say I want.   I mean, what if there is another reality.  Perhaps no one notices, but me.  No one hears what I hear or sees what I see.  What if Jess heard nothing and saw nothing but a woman working hard, doing hard things.  What if I lived as if THAT were the truth..as opposed to all the above fodder.

I am certain this won’t change overnight.  I am sure I will still hesitate when she wants me to jump.  I am sure I will still have fears of grand embarrassment.  But perhaps, each time it will get a little bit less until I no longer hear the Fat Slap myself, regardless of my size.

Yes, that is where I want to be.

Renegades And Meatheads

I am sitting here at 1 AM, still up and yes I have to work in the morning.  However my attempt at “healthier” pumpkin pies are still in the oven.  Better to stay up late tonight finishing them for my contribution to our Thanksgiving feast than tomorrow night when I REALLY need to be in bed early!  So, I thought I would catch up on blogging!

My cool new shoes that I LOVE the look of (The Renegades) are going back to the store and because I am sooo not a shopper, I will replace them with yet another pair of the dorkomatics and start shopping for “cool” stability running shoes next time I need to get new ones.

While The Renegades make my developing sense of style feel good, they actually leave my feet feeling achy after running in them.  I have run on an indoor track several times with them as well as the treadmill.  It is as if my feet are slapping around in there so when I am running, it just is not pleasant.  So sad.  However, since I already dislike running right now, having shoes that make my feet sad will not help that situation.

Ironically, my feet are quite happy in the dorko’s.  So there comes a  time in every girl’s life that “fun” has to be sacrificed for practical.

Now for Meatheads.  So that gym membership I got a while ago has a couple locations I can use.  Of course I didn’t know this until the one I was told I had to use closed their doors on me.  So now I go to this fancy looking Powerhouse Gym.  Yep, a Powerhouse.  I kid you not at least 65% of the people I see there are very muscley men with biceps the size of my thigh!  Yes, I am intimidated there!

It took me quite a while to get comfortable at DDH in GR where people of all shapes and sizes come and they have the small little meathead section that I learned to suck it up and run past.  This is far different.  The whole place is a meathead area.  Everywhere I go there are mirrored walls with bulging biceps and men staring back at me. (YES I know they are not likely looking at me…but it sure feels like it)  I clearly do NOT belong there.

Here is what I say to that though.  Tough Dooky!  I might not have the muscle mass they have but I bet I could out last a few of them on the treadmill since they never do anything cardio related at all!!!  They might go faster, but I bet I could go longer and farther!



Letting it stop me?

Hell no!!!  As Coach says, “They can’t stop me, they can only hope to contain me!”

Pies are done.  Good night folks!  I will let you know how my healthy experiment turns out.  If it is really yummy I will share the recipe.  If not…well you will never hear another word about it!

PS How are you all planning to attack Thanksgiving?  Do you have a plan to be able to enjoy, indulge and remain healthy?  Tell me your plan?

My plan is to allow myself 400 additional calories that day.  So 2200 for the day.  I am also bringing some fruit for myself to enjoy instead of eating too many of the yummy snacks.  Apples and Banana’s are my friend.  I also plan on filling 2/3 of my plate with whatever veggie we are having, then anything else I want will have to fit on the rest of the plate.  I am only filling my plate once!

Here is to a healthy Thanksgiving!  I am incredibly thankful for this past year and all it has held for me!  But that is another post and I have already said goodnight!

The Ultimate Smackdown!

Hello Blogland! Despite all the encouragement I get from hearing about you and how you struggle and get back up, in the moment of it happening, it is much more difficult to write about the struggle in the midst of it. It is much easier to stay silent until I am sure I am on my way back out of the hole. SO much for this being moment by moment…day by day…the good, the bad, and the downright ugly! I was wondering when the last time was that I struggled really really bad…and it has truly been months! How quickly I forget the depths to which I can go.

Anyway, as you all know, this past week was my first week in my new home, in Detroit. I came right into being a full time mom to my 6 nieces and nephews (5 under 4yrs old) while their parents were out of town. I have done this before, but typically I am in THEIR home where things seem less chaotic than here at mom’s. I got nothing unpacked or sorted, leaving me feeling out of control, especially since until they left, there really was no hope for that. Then, I was eating poorly out of laziness. I just didn’t feel like preparing a 2nd meal for myself after preparing a meal for the kids and since mom had already planned their meals for them, again I FELT out of control. SO then with the exception of 2 workouts, I threw the gym out the window. I mean heck, if I was gonna be out of control, why not be COMPLETELY out of control! Why not eat exactly what I want even if it produces stomach pains and runs to the bathroom! And if I am REALLY honest with myself, after my Wednesday spin experience, I wasn’t too thrilled about going back to that Y, which means unless I am willing to have a conversation about it, I need to let some things there go.

In hindsight and through the eyes of someone pulling her head out of her A** or umm the sand…yeah the sand, I had and do have far more control than I think. Sure there are circumstances beyond my control, but I decide what to put in my mouth, I decide whether to go to the gym no matter what. I decide what my attitude is gonna be about this whole thing. SO what if my space is not in order yet! Does that REALLY have to affect the rest of my choices? So what if some stranger judges me without knowing what I can do? I know what I can do!

It also helped to get some good feedback from Coach and Aaron. OK, really it is a smackdown! Here is what I got from them.

From Coach:
1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes you a good month to really settle into a productive routine again where you are in reasonable control of your food, exercises, and available resources.
(HA! This is good to remember and to actually consider. I am still getting my head wrapped around the concept that it will take time to adjust…I am hoping for less than a month, but I will try to give myself grace in the meantime)
2. This is a long road. A few “messed up” weeks here and there is nothing to needlessly spend emotional energy fretting over. (yes, this is why Coach is Coach people…he is always good at seeing the big picture when I focus on the step in front of me too much! He is also far more patient than I about taking things easy, and setting myself up for the long haul. I just wanna blaze ahead and do it perfect!)
3. This time is different. Same principles and goals apply. Now you have a different setting to apply them within. Environment was in the driver’s seat in the past. Now you are. (YES I AM ….and to quote our President…YES I CAN!…but gosh it sure is easier in my old environment…at least in the end…I am quick to forget about the 3 months it took me to get into a good routine and develop good habits, no matter what…I certainly didn’t start out last September the way I was going in January!)
4. Do this thang. (AKA Get er done….take care of business…do what I gotta do!….Yes Sir!)

From Aaron:

Also, what if…you viewed your current situation from a perspective of gratitude. God has been gracious enough to disrupt a routine that you had perhaps grown too comfortable in and he has placed increased challenges in front of you because he knows you can handle it. If you are really going to have lasting change you will at some point need to learn how to stick with it when unhealthy eating choices are constantly right under your nose and your workout environment isn’t the cushy and friendly DDH. How fortunate that you GET to be faced with those challenges right now to develop further strength in those areas. God must really love you and believe in you! Lucky!

OK, my initial reaction was to drive across the state and smack this man. (Sorry Aaron…you didn’t know that you were in danger!) Seriously, I had a good dose of self pity and whining going on! I don’t wanna be here! I wanna be there! I don’t like it! I miss DDH! I miss my friends! I don’t have any control! I don’t…I want….I can’t….blah blah blah! However, when I step back…he is right and he disrupted my whining! (God please don’t let me end up being like Joelle, if I make TBL!) And he is right! I am blessed! My God is not a God of Comfort, but He is one of Mercy and Grace. He doesn’t always give me what I want, but he always provides for my needs. It has been one week. I will make new friends. If I give it a chance, I will learn to enjoy my new gym and perhaps even make some new workout buddies. I might in time come to even like Ann, The Legend! But no matter what, I will become stronger. I will learn to choose me and do right by me, no matter what the circumstances. I know I can do this because My God loves me and believes in me!! I am Lucky! Thanks Aaron for pointing that out and reminding me!

Now that my update about food and exercise for last week is finally written here is some more news….get ready blogland….Coach and Aaron don’t even know this yet! hehehe

In addition to doing the Triathlon Relay again (swimming 1000 meters this time), I am going to train and see if I can’t get myself in enough shape to do two legs of a Triathlon over Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day weekend happens to be my birthday weekend and I think I really like the idea of doing something fun and healthy and for me that weekend. Perhaps this will become my new tradition. Anyway, I am for sure going to be able to swim 500 meters, but then I want to run 5K as well by September. So I will have to find a female biker, as the tri that I would be doing is an all female event. I don’t think I will have a problem finding one! By making this a goal and by speaking it out, it gives me a reason other than plain old exercise to get to the gym each day. It is highly motivating for me!

With that, I am gonna go to the gym. I know my guys are getting ready to spin their butts off with Jeff right now, so I might as well be there running mine off right along with them! Just in a different location!

Reality Settling In

It has been a quiet week for me in blogland. I have been keeping up on reading what is going on, but have been pretty quiet.

In three days I leave to go back to Detroit. On one hand I am completely ok with this. I am going without fear of falling off the wagon so to speak yet aware of all the potential pitfalls that will come with a huge transition, especially back into the very place I learned my poor eating habits. On the other hand, I am beginning to realize how sad I am to be leaving this place I call home.

Up until yesterday, I have been able to live in blissful denial that when I leave on Sunday, I am not coming back in just a few days as I have with previous visits home. I have been avoiding saying goodbyes. I have actually even avoided seeing some people because I knew it would be that much harder. Believe it or not, I thought it would be easier to just slip out of here, nice and quiet like. Fortunately and unfortunately, I have some good friends who will not allow such a thing to happen and now a shindig has been planned, however the word good bye will not be allowed! While this will no doubt be a grand time of being with my people, those who have been my family here on the West Coast, it just makes everything that much more real. So today was quite a somber day as I really let it sink in exactly who and what I will miss.

While at the gym tonight with Adam and Aaron, I was painfully aware that I have 2 more days of workouts in this place. As I looked around the gym, seeing the treadmills, I began to think (and don’t tell anyone, but I even teared up a bit) about how last September I was walking for 30 minutes at 2.5 or 2.8 and I was done. Then I realized, I just finished run/walking a mile after a 45 minute spin class which was preceded by another mile! David D. Hunting (the gym) has been good for me and good to me. It is incredibly significant that I can now easily spend 2 hours in this place. That I now run. I spin. I do aerobics classes and Pilate’s. I have lost 38 LBS in this place. I will miss it. But more than just the gym, I will miss the familiarity I have in this place. The faces, while I don’t know their names, their faces just fit in my head when I think of the gym.

I will miss the muscle head with the blond spiky hair who seems to be there whenever I am, no matter if it is morning or night workouts.

I will miss seeing the short balding old guy who also seems to be there whenever I am. Do these people live at the gym?

Spin instructors, Jeff and Emily. and Lorenzo from 6:30 Monday night class, who seems to think it is completely normal for a 300+ lb person to be in spin class. (I think so now too, but not at first)

I will miss Coach scaring the living daylights out of me whenever he and I happen to be at the gym at the same time. ( I cannot believe I am putting that in black and white!)

I cannot list all the people and things I will miss. But you get the idea. There is much to be missed here. Familiar places and faces those who don’t know me and those who know me oh so well.

On the upside (is this denial or deflection creeping back in?) I get to go and try and re-create this in a new place! Reality is back. While the nameless familiar faces in the gym can be replaced with new nameless familiar faces, it is the familiar and known faces that can never be replaced, just added to.

Tis true, miracles never cease!

Is it possible that addiction can be good? For the last few weeks, I have been on a good streak of eating and exercise. I have never been one to like exercise for the sake of exercise and typically going to the gym is pure drudgery. I have never liked it, for a few reasons. Insecurity is one. Going to a place where I know that the majority of the people there will be fit and definitely more healthy than I is not so easy. I wonder what all these fit people must think of me, ME! being there. Then the comparisons start in my head. This is a cycle that must be controlled vigilantly lest it truly get the best of me. Incompetence has been another reason that makes me hate the gym. There are so many contraptions there that work muscles that I don’t think I have at all! I mean it is enough that I have the major muscle groups (in limited supply of course -at least right now). But come on…do I really need to work that tiny tiny muscle that supposedly lives under my rib cage? I of course know that the gym offers an orientation for people such as myself to show me how to use the stuff, but that would mean I have to actually ADMIT I don’t know, out loud, to one of those fit people mentioned above and then seriously battle those same insecurity issues above. Pain has also kept me away. I don’t like to hurt…and I certainly don’t like to do things that actually cause pain. I don’t think I am crazy in this though.

Despite all this that has kept me away in the past…I have been pretty diligent about going to the gym daily. It helps to have people to go with me on the days I really don’t want to go, but I also have to go by myself quite often. During my time I have lurked around some contraptions, and learned by secretly observing others, how to use a few of the machines. I have spent many hours on a treadmill, continuously increasing my speed each week and stretching myself and have even taken a few group classes. To my utter amazement, I have actually come to enjoy the gym. I look forward to going and have even turned down or showed up late to social activities with friends so that I could go to the gym.

This week, while being back in Detroit for a few days, I have found myself longing for the gym. At one point I thought these kind of longings were for other people, but not me. But I do. I am feigning for a good workout and the firm knowledge that I have burned a lot of calories. And I am actually considering NOT going to TN with my brother because it would mean leaving my precious gym for another week! Who knew it would ever come to this!!

While I have come far in this journey…I still feel insecure at times(fortunately IF my fellow gym mates wonder what I am doing there, they keep those thoughts to themselves) and definitely incompetent (lurking and learning helps) and pain too(don’t ask me about Pilates). But so far my vision of a wholly healthy me has been enough to propel me forward. Inch by inch I am making progress, literally and figuratively.