My Body and Me

June 30, 2010

Cross-posted at Mars is Heaven.

Let us just skip right over the yoga class I went to on Monday night (I write this on Tuesday morning). I bitched to BF for three or four minutes without taking a breath about why it made me so unhappy, but it’s just not worth complaining about here. The good news I garnered out of that trip to the studio is that I’ll be teaching at Lululemon for three of the four Saturdays in July. Woo! I love teaching there, and it almost definitely means three feedback forms. I’m also taking over the fourth Saturday of the month at the studio at 10:15, which is a class for which the nominal instructor has been a no-show twice now with no explanation. It’s a prime slot, and I’m glad I’m finally afforded one.

Teaching three or four times a week has given me a whole new relationship to my body. Yoga teaching is a vocation (or an avocation) that requires a strong and healthy body. It’s a vocation where the body is constantly used – for demonstration and for adjustment. The body is depended upon, not just to get us from here to there, or to lift and carry, or to be in one physical space for the duration of a workday. It must bend and twist and stretch and work for 60-75 minutes, and do these things well enough to keep the students safe in their imitation of your poses. It must do the difficult things you ask of it, or you will not be doing your job. I wouldn’t say that my job is as hard on my body as an athlete’s or a dancer’s job, but it’s the same idea: the body is your profession, and when the body breaks down, your ability to do your job is compromised.

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June 28, 2010

Well, pooh. I’d hoped to be much further along in my fitness goals (read: how I look in the mirror makes me go “yay!”) than I am right now. I have a little over two weeks until my Maine vacation and I’d hoped to be much more svelte. But two things threw off my progress, and therefore the timing of pre-trip svelteness. One, I threw my back out and had to take about a week off from working out. Two, I had the Essure procedure and am in the midst of taking another week off from working out. And three, during both of those periods of time off I was (am) an emotional eater.

So at this second in time, I am trying valiantly to limit my caloric intake, since I’ll be idle until Friday. Then when Friday rolls around I have to “ramp up” my workouts, instead of just jumping in full swing to the level I was at before. So, really, I’ll only have a week or so of solid workouts before we head to Maine. It’s not for a particular reason that I want to be fit for Maine, really; it was just a seemingly-achievable goal at the time that I set said goal. Now, it isn’t.

And that kind of bums me out.


June 28, 2010

Not a bad weekend around ye olde abode.  I started it off by getting up before dawn again on Saturday morning to go for a run.  At the last second, the talk I had with my ex-runner officemate re-entered my brain and I took a right instead of a left.  I parked my car on the other side of the park and instead of running 3.5 miles, I ran five.  My goal was anything under 1:15 – fifteen-minute miles – and I made it in 1:08 and change, having forgotten to start my stopwatch on time to begin with and having to wait for traffic lights to change twice, which I figure evens out in the end.  Close enough, at least.

I was definitely whipped but not completely out of commission, which was nice.  And a good thing, too, since when I got back to my car I realized that my extra door key that I carry while I run had fallen out someplace, so my keys were locked in my car.  I’d left my phone at home, so I had to walk the mile back home from the park and pound on the door until the dog barking at me got Dys  up to let me in.

Oh well.

Afterward, I showered and changed clothes and Dys and I went on a Wal-Mart/grocery run.  While at WM, I picked up a couple of sleeveless Under-Armour type shirts to run in.

In size Large.  Do you know how long it’s been since I bought anything without an X in front of it?  And while I’m still a little more bulgy in a few places than I’d like, they definitely fit.

I also bought a pack of white and black tank-top undershirts in size Large, and those suckers are definitely a little tighter than I’d imagined they’d be.  But still not grotesquely so, and I can still work on that a bit.  Dys asked if I was going for the Eric Northman look, and honestly it hadn’t even crossed my mind, but if it’s even bringing up the concept, then WIN.

Even in the ballpark of this guy is a compliment.

Having survived the five-mile run without serious complications, I think I’m going to succumb to my coworker’s suggestion and plan to enter the local Triple Crown.   A 5k (3.1 miles) on the last Saturday of next February, a 10k (6.2 mi) on the second Saturday in March, and a 10 miler on the last Saturday in March.  I think only the 10-miler is a real concern, and I have nine months to prepare for it.

Time to kick it up a notch, eh?


June 28, 2010

Find more Walks in Columbia, South Carolina

Sometimes technology is so much fun!

I was screwing around with trying to figure out some details on my daily walks, i.e. how far am I walking, approximately how many calories I’m burning, etc. and came across this neato-mosquito place that let me use Google maps to plot my walk and show me the deets. I’m happy to see I’m clearing about two miles, two HILLY ASS miles, and that I was pretty much on target with the calories.

I’m not sure if any of you guys would be interested, but figured I’d share just in case.

Afternoon Quickie

June 24, 2010

Just a few quickies:

– As much as I try not to be a slave to the scale, it does help to see those numbers slowly but steadily decreasing. But when I’m stuck at or around one number for a few days, it does start to mess with my mind a little. I believe it’s too soon for a plateau but at the same time that’s what it kind of is by definition, so I’m trying to do a couple of things to push past it. Hopefully it won’t stick around too much longer.

– There’s no delicate way to say this. No matter how much roughage and vegetables I add to my diet, my body apparently still takes issue with letting go of the waste, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Thank God and/or medical science for the wonder that is Miralax. Stupid poopy.

– The weather is doing two things: (1) making it very, very easy to consume nothing but water and (2) making it very, very difficult for walking outside, which has been the main form of exercise I’ve been doing so far. I’ve literally had to force myself to wait until almost 8pm every night before starting off on my treks. Which, okay fine. I’m hoping all that extra sweat will add up after awhile and then I’ll be able to appreciate something, ANYTHING, about this hellish heat wave we’ve been saddled with the last few weeks.

– I still really want a bicycle and I believe that will be my first reward to myself once I reach a legitimate milestone. We have some serious hills in the neighborhood that I’d be interested to see how I’d handle on a bike.

– Lastly, a question: Do any of you guys ever use ankle or wrist weights for when you do walking, running or cardio? I’ve been using 2 lb ankle weights and I don’t know – do you think it matters? I figure I have them so it couldn’t hurt, but I also feel like a dweeb with them on. Like some poseur who’s walking, not running and not wearing cool work-out clothes or hundred dollar sneakers or something. Not that I honestly care what my neighbors think. I don’t know.

Either way, things are moving right along despite a little less activity on the scale and the potty.

The Stride

June 22, 2010

One interesting thing about the heat…the local park is a lot more crowded at 6am.  Hell, today I got there just before 6 for my run, and there were two guys there who had clearly just finished and were about to leave.

I’ve been running for, oh, six weeks now – after swearing I’d never do such a thing unless violent death was threatened for myself or my loved ones.  Now, I can’t say I’m exactly a nut about it…I haven’t made the telltale subscription to Runner’s World or created logins for running forums or anything like that…but I’m liking it.

What I’ve found is that I respond much better to a distance-goal than a time-goal.  Running for 45 minutes seems a lot less boring than it was watching the timer count down from 30 minutes on the cross-trainer.  And on the cross-trainer, I not only had my iPod, but also a TV and usually a book to boot.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s still damned hard to drag my ass out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, even on days like today when it has been four…five?…days since I last ran.  Days in which I may or may not have ordered a Large combo cheeseburger at a fast food joint, for example, and relished every last bite of those peppered fries.

But I’m almost to the point of being able to run that full 3.5 miles without stopping to walk.  And these being some significantly hilly miles, I think that’s pretty cool.  In talking to a former-runner coworker on Friday, she encouraged me to think about the local Triple Crown next year – a 5k, 5-mile, and 10-mile package.  She was thoroughly convinced that by the spring I’d be ready to rock.

I told her I’d decide on that when I could run the 5k without stopping.  But I have to admit – as a goal, it’s good motivation.

As is putting on my pants this morning and noticing, wow, these really are pretty loose!

Avoiding the Quick Fix

June 22, 2010

Well I made it through the weekend no worse for the wear, and that even included an unexpected trip to a country buffet restaurant for a Father’s Day lunch yesterday. I balked at first, bitching to Brian, “I made it through the family reunion; now they want us to pig out with them two days in a row?” He reminded me the place had a salad bar (I guess I missed it last time, as mesmerized by the fried chicken and mashed potatoes as I was) and I quickly backtracked, admitting if I’m going to be successful in the long-term as I hope to be, I’m going to have to learn to deal with real-life eating scenarios and that I’m not going to die if I can’t follow my daily routines all the time.

I was amazed by the fact I was able to show some restraint and make wise choices both days. While Brian and everyone else ate with ecstatic abandon, I paid attention to what I put in my mouth and chose only things I really couldn’t live without (pulled pork bbq, lemon pound cake) and the things I did eat, I only ate a few bites of. What a concept. The payoff being the scale reading this morning and still being able to put on clothes I haven’t worn in lo these many months.

I’m not by any means saying I haven’t been tempted by the many quick fixes there are available out there. I know several people on doctor-prescribed diet pills, people who aren’t out walking in the godforsaken heat every day and not counting calories, but who are losing weight anyway. Am I envious at times? Yes. But I’ve always maintained the biggest challenge of this is in each of our minds and I’m not going to begrudge someone their strategy if that’s what they feel is the best choice for themself. For me, I know a pill isn’t the answer (ironic!). For one thing, speed has never been my thing and those pills make me feel like I can feel every hair growing out of my head and like I’ve been hitting the crack pipe a little too hard. Not pleasant.

And I know there are other tricks and sneaky things I can do in order to trick the scale. Pound water! Eat 800 calories! Enjoy a nice laxative shake! Wrap my body in saran wrap before heading out for the daily walk…okay, I may have actually considered that last one, but only for a minute. But I keep reminding myself, zipping up pants and buttoning shirts that don’t leave the dreaded boob-gap are more gratifying than losing a few pounds of temporary water weight.

I realize in this world of instant gratification, I’m going to have to continue to be patient about this. Not one of my strong suits, but hey – I have nothing better to do right now anyway. And six pounds down in two weeks – I’ll take that.