Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Day two at the gym.

I went in for Day Two at the gym. Look! I'm halfway to my goal for the week.

I now (sort of) understand the blue sheet B the T referred to yesterday. It's basically a spreadsheet-style log of my activity statistics (duration, resistance, pace, weight, reps...). When I got there today, she already had it filled out and ready to go, though she didn't show me the thing until after I'd completed the workout. I think that was a good move. I didn't feel defeated before I got started, and I felt totally rewarded after accomplishing everything she set out for me. I realize that this workout may not seem all that challenging to some, especially since many of the levels are rock-bottom, but it was perfect for me. I had to talk myself through some of it (see: arc trainer and sit-ups), but I was able to do it, which was more than I did yesterday. And I sweated my butt off in the process.

I look forward to the day I can look back at this and laugh at the ease of it.

  • Treadmill: incline 1, 3.3 and 3.4 mph, 15 minutes
  • Arc trainer: level 15, 10 minutes
  • EFX (elliptical): level 4, 10 minutes
  • Arm curl: 15 pounds, 2 sets of 10
  • Incline pull: 50 pounds, 2 sets of 10
  • Chest press: 15 pounds, 2 sets of 10
  • Overhead press: 10 pounds, 2 sets of 10
  • Abdominals: 35 pounds, 3 sets of 10
  • BOSU sit-ups: 3 sets of 10

This is my routine for the first few weeks, just so I can get used to working out. I'll do cardio each time and the weights one or two times a week, she says, but I'm going to shoot for twice a week. I'll add minutes or pounds or resistance or reps or something each time to keep myself challenged and moving forward. I'm feeling good about this.

In other news, I'm feeling good about tomorrow's weigh-in. I've done really well with staying within my daily points target, which I finally recalculated to reflect my actual daily activity (summer = sedentary). I'm now operating on a 30-point day. Not only have I eaten the right numbers, but I have eaten the right foods. I've made good choices even when it wasn't easy in favor of healthy, lean, and fresh foods. I've had only a few sweets and diet sodas, relatively speaking

Honestly, I'm afraid to get my hopes up for a big loss or any loss at all, but I have to remember that if I keep making progress like this, I am guaranteed to see the results eventually. And "results" aren't just numbers on a scale.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Introducing: B the T and the gym.

I met with Brittney the Trainer today at the gym, and it went well. She seems friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and thank heavens, not too judgmental. We sat down and talked about getting into the routine of coming to the gym and about not getting into the routine of doing the same workout over and over. We talked about goals. She had to write something down on her little paper that goes in my file, so we said my long term goal is to lose weight, even though I feel that doesn't exactly encompass the entirety of my motivation for being there. Since these goals have to be measurable, she seemed to think that 160 pounds is a good goal for me, which is ten pounds more than I had figured in my head, but that's fine with me. I'm not really working toward a number, but a lifestyle and state of health. For a short term goal, though, I didn't really want to put a number of pounds on it. We decided that, at this point, my goal should be just getting to the gym four times a week. Then she put me on some cardio machines.

This is where I should mention that, due a purse-switch and cruel turn of fate, I forgot my earbuds, even though I put together what I think is an awesome workout playlist. But I don't know because I didn't get to try it out. I did, however, try out the treadmill (15 minutes), the arc trainer (7 minutes), and the bike (10 minutes). The treadmill would be a lot better if I had my music, but I think it's a good place to warm up. The arc trainer was fun, but it kicked my butt. That's a good thing, though, right? The goal was to go five minutes or ten, if I could. Yeah. The bike was okay, though I wasn't feeling too challenged. My heart rate thought otherwise and stayed up while I pedaled away, so I guess it was doing its thing. I'm supposed to be figuring out which machines I like and can stay on for an extended amount of time. I kind of liked switching up.

Even though I could have skipped town tonight to go hang out with family overnight, which I've done for the entire long weekend, I made an appointment to meet with B the T again tomorrow morning. She's supposed to have a "blue sheet" (whatever that means) fixed up for me that outlines the routine that I'll work on for the next few weeks. I will roll up in there with some music this time. And yeah, and some deodorant. Oops.

After the gym, I hit up WalMart to pick up an extra pair of earbuds and some groceries. I cheated and went ahead and bought two pairs of pants to workout in. I won't consider them my cute, reward workout clothes, though. They're from WalMart, for pete's sake. But at the end of this month of going to the gym for four days a week, I'm going to find me a cute gym bag, too. I don't even know where to begin that search.

Speaking of buying clothes and things, let me leave you with huge victory I experienced this weekend. I've been having that defeated feeling when looking in my closet as of late. I have a few cute things that fit, but not much. So on Sunday, Mom and I headed to Kohl's and the mall to see what I could find. I didn't go on a shopping spree or anything, but I picked up a few cute tops and a dress that I am still not sure about. But can I tell you that these articles of clothing came from the misses section? Not the women's (aka, plus size) section. Misses! I have never in my life gotten clothes from the side of the store or an entire store meant for normal-sized people. (Though I realize now that I probably could have when I was a teenager and could have been a little more stylish. Oh, hindsight.) Now I still can't buy pants over there and I am only able to wear the largest size available, but who cares?!

Mom wanted to take a picture of me today, and I was wearing one of the shirts I got. The picture reminded me a lot of another one taken by my best friend when we were on a train in Europe three years ago. Until I looked at them side by side.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Going against the odds.

I joined a gym last Thursday.

I've been considering it for a few weeks now, especially since I've struggled so much with Weight Watchers this summer. I know I need to incorporate activity into the lifestyle I'm developing. I've tried a few things. I did Couch to 5K for two weeks. I have a Wii Fit and can sometimes get into a routine, but I don't feel like that's enough. I know someone who is currently being pretty successful with doing his own workout routine at home, but honestly, I wouldn't even know where to start. I don't really know how to do exercises properly or how much to do. Without direction, I would give up quickly.

So I went on the hunt for a gym. We have a few fitness options in town. There's the YMCA, Curves, another women's boutique-style gym called Elements, and Fitness Formula, which is owned by the local health foundation. It was actually a relatively easy decision. I narrowed it down to Elements and Fitness Formula pretty quickly. Elements has some nifty exercise machines that use card scanners to adjust to your personalized settings with just a swipe. There's a fancy-pants hydromassage bed and a sauna. They also offer some neat group classes. But the really good-sounding classes and use of the massage bed and sauna have added fees on top of the already exhorbitant $400 annual fee, plus a big initial fee. Fitness Formula, on the other hand, has an agreement with our Board of Education and will waive the $50 enrollment fee and chop 15%-20% off the membership, depending on how you pay. While Fitness Formula doesn't have super-swank equipment with swipey cards (though each treadmill does have its own TV), they do have specially trained, um, trainers who will work with me to develop goals and teach me how to reach them.

Obviously, I went with Fitness Formula. I have an appointment there with a trainer in the morning. We're going to sit down and work up a plan for me. I am only a little nervous, but mostly excited.

The only thing I worry about is the stigma of joining a gym. Not that I'll actually be going, but that I won't go. Everyone has a story about joining a gym and giving up and paying ridiculous amounts of money for a membership they never use. I am determined not to be that person. Luckily, Fitness Formula will also let a person join for just a month. That's what I did. I haven't already signed up for a year's membership. I want to, but I also want to prove to myself that I will do this for a month. Hopefully after tomorrow's meeting I will be able to outline some goals for the month, at the end of which I will go for the year membership and some decent workout clothes.

Thursday, of course, was also my Weight Watchers meeting. Again, the numbers were not what I wanted them to be. I had gained 1.2 pounds. I can still say that I've lost sixty pounds, but I have officially gained four weeks out of the past five. After the meeting, I was pretty upset with myself. I think it was the first time I've cried about this thing. (Okay, maybe not, but I did cry.) But after talking it through with myself on a silent drive to my parents' house and talking it through with a friend, I'm okay.

I am no closer to quitting than ever. The Q word doesn't even compute in my brain. I have had some doubts, though. Like, some (highly stupid) part of me will start to think that maybe this is all I can do, that maybe I've lost all the weight I can lose. I know that's a lie. I just have to problem solve. I can see the choices I've made, good and bad, and thankfully, I can see the results. Now my actions should reflect that.

I am sort of glad that I had a gain on Thursday. It was a reminder that I made the right decision by taking steps toward becoming more active and fit.