Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Operation Move it, Week One

The acupuncturist's waiting room: proof I made it up the stairs.
I went to the gym yesterday.

After a lot of soul searching, and dealing with an epic ton of crap, I have come to the conclusion that I am still Doing It Wrong (for me). I feel amazing, my skin is good, my eyes are clear, I seem to get through people around me being sick with nary a sniffle. But I am not losing weight.

My eating is dialed in. I have gone through my cabinets and cupboards, pitched everything, gotten tested for thyroid and misc. other potential problems, and  tried eradicating potential allergens. I've tried a "keto"approach, Very Low Carb, you name it. I eat token amounts of dairy, nuts and seeds as a condiment. Treats are few and far between. Maybe one piece of fruit a day? I am to the point where the slice of Kabocha pumpkin I had post-workout yesterday tasted like candy!

My sleep is still sketchy, but I remember my dreams with regularity now- something that I never did before. Not that it's any great blessing: last night I dreamed I saw a friend from high school and his girlfriend at an outdoor music festival, and the vendor at the salad bar (yes, at the music festival) got mad because we used up all the really good ingredients. And then I came up with some kind of witty retort, which pretty much summed up everything I feel is wrong with the town in which I am currently living and the people in it.

 And then I woke up. The most vivid part of the dream: all the brilliantly multicolored and beautifully sliced veggies in the salad. If I look it up in a dream dictionary, it will probably come to the conclusion that I am a dork, albeit a dork with Paleo street cred. I dream about raw vegetables. I am hardcore. 

What I haven't done is much more strenuous exercise than walking or low-key bike riding. My acupuncturist and specialists all said the same thing: that serious weight bearing exercise (at my weight) could really damage my knees, and that any kind of strain on my core could derail one of my other goals: getting pregnant. And that took precedence over everything else. After a brief stint at CrossFit, I was convinced to give it up. And I was, in truth, a little relieved.

Don't get me wrong: I loved CrossFit. I loved being able to surprise people. Every trainer I have had has called me "deceptively fit." I can run surprisingly fast, I have a lot of endurance, and I am damned strong, when it suits me. On my own, I kicked ass. However- my big Achilles heel showed up early on. What I didn't love is having close personal contact with people I didn't know, specifically the biggest guys in my class who were instructed to lift me and hold me up so I could attempt to do a pullup, or spot me when I was trying to kick up into a handstand against the wall.

I don't even like it when my husband lifts me up, OK? I am sure a big part of this is feeling helpless, which I have a BIG problem with, and then on top of that, having someone bigger and stronger than I am witness my inability to accomplish something. The worst though, was when my coach was trying to help me with flexibility, and was doing some kind of maneuver which involved putting pressure on me from behind while I sat in front of him, bent over my extended legs. I started shaking, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. At the time, I blamed some kind of muscle fatigue, but the more I think about it, it was (at least partially) the introductory signs of an impending panic attack. 

To head off questions, (yes, I know what this sounds like, so let me head you off at the pass!) I don't believe anything that would qualify as "horrible" has ever happened to me to cause this- although a partner did drop me once in a dance class, which hurt like a mo-fo and is still humiliating when I remember it. I am just fiercely independent, and not a touchy-feely or particularly trusting person, and feeling out of control (in the presence of someone theoretically bigger and stronger than me) is just Not Cool.

And that was a big digression. Whew! Sorry.

So- I did it all yesterday. Made four different gym playlists, because  music is often the only thing that keeps me going. Dusted off my water bottle and filled it up. Took measurements, weighed myself. I was pleased to see that all this monkeying around with medical stuff had only caused a 5 lb. gain- 5 lbs. that I am not worried about, because I know will fall off. (in fact, 1.5 of it is gone as of this morning. Wow!)  Perspective- Last time around, I gained 30 lbs. in six months. I was also pleased to see that my body fat % had gone down a few percetage points, and that my body measurements had pretty much remained stable.

The gym is within waking distance from my house, so I walked. I am enjoying my new toy: The Striiv is indeed making me much more aware of the amount of time I spend on my feet during the day- especially coming out of a two-week period where I just wanted to read books, watch movies, and sleep. Racing a virtual robot to the gym sounds much more exciting than walking there, right?

I did my best: an off the cuff HIIT workout on the elliptical: max for three minutes (8/8), cool down for 4(2/2). I realize that technically, HIIT intervals are usually shorter, but...ugh. I chose an empty row of elliptical machines, with a half-empty row of machines behind me. I was there for less than a minute before two women got on either side of me: one reading a magazine. The other burned out after about 5 minutes, and a guy took her place.

He proceeded to spend the next 25 minutes alternating between staring at the control panel on my machine, and staring at my chest. I know I am not imagining this- I should actually be impressed at his skill, as I was going all out on the intervals. He was keeping up with the pace I set, while maintaining balance AND looking to the side. I am not sure if he was looking at my rack, or concerned that I was going to have a heart attack. Anyway: he concluded his workout at the exact time I did. Creepy, right? Bleargh: this is why I hate the gym.

After about 30 minutes of that, I headed to the inline skating machine (there were only two, and one was taken, so I figured Creepy would have to go elsewhere.) I could only manage that for about 5 minutes before my legs were absolutely noodley and screaming at me. This is when I needed to remind myself: A. you still need to walk home, and B. you still have to go to the acupuncturist today, and his office is up a steep flight of about 30 stairs, and C. you still have to be able to go about your business and be productive tomorrow. Also D: remember all the times you did this once, overdid it, crippled yourself, and never went back?

So I swung past the desk, and asked about personal training. I want to get comfortable with free weights. The price they quoted me (for 2 months, twice a week)  was staggering. I would be better off signing up for two months of Crossfit: and have enough money left over to buy my Christmas presents! I am planning to do some research today. I know I need to do some weight training, but I don;t want to embarrass, and/or hurt myself.

I think I hit a good level: Tired but strangely energetic (in a good way) for the remainder of yesterday. I am a little sore today, but nothing major. I feel good. And I have added Bulletproof Coffee back into my routine. My acupuncturist is just going to have to deal.

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