Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The gym in a nutshell...

Actually it's not in a nutshell as I tend to be long winded (so says my friend Keith who refered to each of my postings as a novel). But here's the 'skinny' (hehe) on the gym so far.

Surprisingly I have not been sore since starting working out there. I had been doing light weight lifting at home with free weights, so maybe this was the reason. At first it scared me. Everybody knows no pain, no gain... so maybe I was doing something wrong? I truly expected to be laid up in bed the first day after our first full workout. So when I woke up and was able to get out of bed without first popping 4 Ibuprophen I was surprised...and then scared. What did I do wrong?!?!?!?

I knew in my head I worked out hard, as I could barely finish some of my sets. I even did that gross grunting thing (quietly) that those muscle men do when they are trying to impress hot women. I knew I was "sweaty betty" when I left. I knew my body was shaking as I walked down the stairs to leave so why the heck wasn't I dying of pain the next day? Marco, on the other hand, was hurting a little. Not as much as anticipated, but enough to moan and groan with any sort of jarring movement. Since the first time we went his pain has lessened with each workout and he isn't feeling much pain at all anymore. I still haven't figured out why I'm not hurting, but I'm just not. As long as I know I am pushing myself then I'm not going to worry about it. Maybe my 'high on life' is acting as an anelgesic? (I did NOT use the words high on life without gagging a little and then cracking up.)

I've found that my feet burn like crazy and go numb when I use the eliptical machine for my 30 minutes of cardio. The trainer said it was because my feet are staying still as I work out and swelling a bit in my shoes, causing the burning and numbness. So last time I loosened my laces a bit before jumping on and sure enough, the numbness was lessened as my feet had some extra room to expand. Who knew?

I found out that I love running on the treadmill. It is so much nicer than running on the ground and seems to cause less joint pain for me later. I ran 2 whole miles the other night with only having to slow to a walk for one minute, 23 minutes into my routine! That made me feel great.

I tried the row machine and didn't like it as well as I thought I was going to. I think my hands are too soft because after 3 minutes of rowing away I was feeling a bit blistery and ended up switching machines.

Riding a bike for 30 minutes is the most boring workout ever. I use the bike only occasionally for my 10 minute warm up.

My legs are a heck of a lot stronger than I thought and my arms (shoulders) are way weaker than I could have ever imagined. There is one machine that really just kicks my arse. I don't know the name of the machine but the muscle it works is on the top and side of your shoulder and I seriously want to cry when I use it. I was originally supposed to lift 15 kilos with the machine but just can not do it. So now I end up doing one set with 10 kilos and the other 2 sets with just 5 kilos. What a wimp! That machine is the devil!

I like the ab machine a lot more than doing sit-ups and there is a boxing ring in the gym that Marco and I both have been eyeing every time we're there. I would love to get in there and just play around, kick a little ass, and beat some stuff. (geesh frusterated much?)We're working out 3 times a week doing both cardio and weights all three times we go. I am going to try to squeeze in a 4th day for just cardio when I can just for fun.

Fun? I just called exercise fun. Wow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

8 pounds away from halfway to my goal!

Just a quick post since today was my weigh-in. I lost 5.72 pounds (2.6 kilos) making my total to date 42 pounds! That means I only have 8 pounds to go to be halfway to my goal! YAY!

This week I threw in an extra cardio at the gym and was purposely careful with my eating. I guess it paid off! It's nice to finally be over that plateau! 5 pounds is a bit more than I intended to lose in a week but I'll take it. (geesh I can never be happy)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I believe an introduction is necessary...

As I was drying off after my shower today I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed a couple bumps on my chest. I turned to the side... then to the front... I looked at every angle and there were definate protrusions there.

I immediately ran into the living room where my dear husband sat innocently on the couch.

"Honey do you notice anything different about me?"

"Woohoo!" he hooted as he usually does when I run around the house naked. (what a sweetie!)

"No really honey... look... do you see anything different?"

He stared at me blankly, his eyes darting about my body desperate for the correct answer. I could tell it was one of those moments in a mans life where they don't know what to say... one of those "does my butt look big in these pants?" kind of looks. There's never a good answer but there are several bad ones... some worse than others.

I decided to let him off the hook a little.

"No honey, in this area" I said circling my hand around my chest.


I turned to the side, then to the front again.

After a few more seconds of quietness and blank stares I gave up hope...

"LOOK honey! Right here!!!!" I squeeked pointing at my bumps. "I have collar bones!"

"Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! They look good!"

So it's official. I actually have collar bones.

This has got to be one of my most favorite discoveries on my journey so far. I've always envied girls with pretty collar bones. Not ones that stick out with the skin stretched out over them like leather but nice, smooth, delicate, femine collar bones.

I went back to the bathroom to admire my newfound neck knobs a little more, satisfied with my progress, at least for this moment.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I have a best friend, Liz, whom I've been best friends with since I was about 12 or 13 years old. Liz and I have always been 'not thin'. I was always a little more 'not thin' than she was, but either way we were both 'not thin'.

We would swim in her pool and talk about losing weight. We would talk about how different our lives would be if we were thin. We both agreed that we were pretty girls, wejust weren't thin and pretty like T.S.B. When we would shop for clothing we would go from shop to shop not finding anything in our size that fit right and inevitably we'd end up talking about T.S.B.

Oh, how easy the life of T.S.B. was. T.S.B. had it simple. They had everything. They had the cute clothes and the cute was grand for T.S.B.

We hated Those Skinny Bitches.

Yes, that is how we have always referred to thin women, Liz and I. Those skinny bitches in the shops, those skinny bitches at the club, those skinny bitches with the hot get the point. In our minds, T.S.B. had it all and they had it easy.

So naturally when I started going to the gym I dreaded seeing TSB in their skimpy, belly baring spandex suits. I really dreaded seeing the TSB in their Juicy Couture sweat pants, with the word JUICY slapped across their toosh, knowing there was nothing juicy about their bony asses. Slap the word "juicy" across my ass and it makes sense... across their tiny buttocks??!?!?!?! I don't think so!

So I was on the treadmill the other day in the back of the room looking at all TSB's in their cute outfits working out and a thought came to me. TSB seem to be sweating pretty badly. TSB seem to be on those machines for long periods of time... just as long as I am... sometimes longer. Then I started thinking some more... maybe life isn't so grand for TSB. They seem to be working on their body just like I am working on mine. Just because TSB are skinny, maybe they have just as hard of time maintaining their weight as I do getting to my ideal weight? Maybe TSB's body didn't come as simply or as naturally as I had always assumed. Maybe TSB's boyfriends are going to leave them for somebody truly JUICY?

And for one small moment in time I felt I was on the same playing field as TSB. After all, we're all there sweating for the same reason.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Like a big stinky pond...

Like a big stinky motionless pond, my weight has stagnated. What an ugly word...stagnate. Blech.

Well ok, so I did lose 1.3 pounds this week but for the last 3 weeks I have lost and gained that same one-ish pound. I knew from the beginning that joining the gym (which I'll update you all on later, when I have some time) that I would be gaining muscle and losing fat and muscle weighs more than fat yadda yadda yadda but UGH! I just trained myself to lose weight, look at the scale, see results, change my life and now I have to RETRAIN myself to look at the inches, don't look at the scale, see how your clothes feel.

So I'm changing up my routine, still tweaking my food here and there, trying new things. Plateau's are going to happen. I refuse to lose momentum!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Lovely Shade of Purple

Working out really has it's benefits and I'm reaping the rewards. I look better. I feel better. I have more energy. I'm more confident. I have a better job. I have hot guys wanting to slather me with hot oils and massage my.... oh wait, that's the Super Duper Fat Blaster 2006 Deluxe Supreme "lose 50 pounds in 50 seconds" commercial. Sorry, we're talking about me here.

But seriously, I really do feel better and have more energy. It's amazing how that works, isn't it? I go to the gym pick up heavy things, put them down. Pick up more heavy things, put them down again. I sit, I crunch, I pull, I push, I stretch, I run, I bike, I elliptical (?)... I do everything I can to expend every ounce of energy I have until my body is shaking from the shock of it all and voila.... I have more energy.

Don't you wish money worked that way?

I do have to admit, I do feel quite a bit more confident since fitting into my skinny jeans (and since then also taking another 8 pairs of pants out of the old cellar and sliding them on easily!). There's a little more spring in my step... a little more 'sas' in my sashay if ya catch my drift *wink wink nudge nudge*. Ya just feel better when you know you're doing something positive for yourself.

But with all this positive stuff going on I still have one things that really bothers me at the gym or when I am working out. This one thing makes me feel so self conscious that I think everybody is staring at me. It makes me feel like a total freakshow. It makes me think that everybody else is just waiting for me to have a heart attack right then and there and I don't know how to get rid of it.

It's my big... giant... purple...head!

Ok so my head isn't giant but yes folks, I turn a lovely shade of purple when I work out. It's not a nice flushed pinky color like some people turn. I don't even turn a 'sunburn' red, which would be acceptable...nope... I turn a deep dark purple-red that makes me look like I've been standing on my head for 3 weeks straight.

It actually frightened me the first time I saw it in the mirror, so I can imagine what others think when they come around the corner to see me gliding away on my elliptical machine, mouthing the words to "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" sporting a dripping wet, purple, sweaty head.

I've tried everything I can think of to try to keep it under control. I dress in cool clothes. I pick machines that are directly in front of the air vents. I drink water. There's just nothing I can do to stop this phenomenon that is "the big purple head".

I've accepted it. I have a purple head. I don't embrace the purple head,I don't want the purple head but it is my purple head and I will learn to love it. Maybe this is my bodies way of getting back at me? It's its own way of saying to me "HA! You've abused me all these years and now all sudden you want me to work out...look good...oh no you di-int."

So if you happen to be at the gym and notice a girl with a purple head, stop by and sing John Denver with me...

"When the sun's coming up I got cakes on the griddle.

Life ain't nuttin but a funny funny riddle

Thank God for my Purple Head!"

(sorry if you now have Thank God I'm a Country Boy stuck in your head!)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Beam me up Scotty!

We went to the gym for our first meeting, to get our passes and to meet with a trainer and get a workout tailored for our own needs and abilities. Seems pretty simple, no?

Just getting in the door was a venture in itself. We walked in and were met by a small counter and to the left one of those turnstile things. I must admit, I don't have a good relationship with turnstiles. They always seem to be just a smidgeon small for me and I end up having to contort my body...smashing, sliding (occasionally buttering up) pinching and scooting to get all the way through. Of course this is done while trying to be a discreet as possible as I don't want to make a fool of myself. I imagine I'm not the only big person out there who see's a turnstile and gets sweaty palms.

So we were greeted by a cute little girl (ugh am I really old enough to be refering to a teen/twenty something as a little girl?!?!?!?) who told us that since our intake was about to begin that we could hold off on getting our picture taken, our hand print taken (what?!?!) and our membership card. My mind quickly raced to my beet purple/red sweaty head after a workout, an image I'm not too keen on having to look at on a membership card, and said that's ok, we'd rather do it now if you don't mind.

So she took our picture with what looked like a webcam. No flash, no chance to say cheese, just an "Ok, I'm going to take your picture and ok it's done."

While she was fiddling with the computer a few members had come in. I got to see them go through the process of getting through the door. Apparently they are given a super secret code to punch in, then they place their hand on a shiny silver pedastal that has little knobs sticking up for a few seconds, a little red light comes on, thier picture pops up on the screen and they shuffle through the turnstile on their way to the mecca that is Club Sportive! WOW!

Geesh! What a process! The gym I joined with my friend Liz years ago had a similar, yet slightly less sohpisticated process. You walked into the doors that were never locked, there was a clipboard, yes a clipboard, on the counter where you signed in with paper and ink (at least it wasn't a quill!) and then you walked through the wide open hallway to the workout room. Compared to Club Sportive, my old gym was the "Amish" of gyms.

So the girl gave us our passes, pointing our our member numbers. We were then instructed to do the 'hand scan'. I have to admit I was kind of excited. I punched my super secret number in the little box, strategically placed my fingers between the knobs on the cool silver pedastal, red light on, through the turnstile and I was IN! I did it! I patiently waited on the other side while Marco was doing the same. He didn't seem to be as impressed with the process as I was. I guess that's what happens when you come from Smalltown Illinois!

So wow, I had only just walked through the doors and I already felt different, like I belonged to this secret society that only a select few (with the extra cash) could be part of.

We made our way up the stairs and down the long hallway into the most spectacular workout room I have ever been in. I have never seen so many pieces of big beautiful grey, silver and black equiptment in my life. It was an army of cardio equiptment lined up in neat rows. There were only two or three people on the machines so it was just a sea of endless opportunity in front of us. I wanted to act like a child and jump on every piece, trying it out, getting the feel. I wanted to run on the treadmill, spin on a bike, row a boat and climb that stair stepper.

Common sense and a tug on my shirt from Marco snapped me back into reality. Instead of acting on my impulse to rip through the massive room turning every knob and pushing every button, we went to the desk and met with our trainer.

The rest of the visit went pretty much like I had imagined. She weighed us, took our BMI, asked us our goals, put us on a bike for 10 minutes to see where we were fintness wise, let us walk on the treadmill showing us what the options were and what each little button did. She gave us a workout plan designed for each of us individually. She walked us through our routines, let us know that in 6 weeks she would redesign our routines for us and measure our progress and that was it. We did it. We made it through our first day at the gym.

As we walked out I wanted to snap my towel across Marco's ass like you always see them do in the movies. Fortunate enough for him I was too concentrated on my shaky legs getting me safely down the flight of stairs to be able to snap anything. Next time though, he better be prepared.

Present Day Montey Hall

If you have ever read my blog then you know the story...I made a deal with Marco, my husband, that when I lost 15 kilos (about 32 pounds) he would buy me a treadmill. Well as I posted I finally earned my treadmill. It took a little over 3 months, but I did it.

So by now I should be walking nowhere just as fast as I can in the comfort of my living room right? Well.... not quite.

Seems as though Marco (aka Montey Hall) decided to strike up another deal with me within our original deal. He was kind enough not to make me wear a chicken suit. (if you have never seen the old Let's Make a Deal Gameshows, then you have no idea what I'm talking about but I highly recommend trying to catch an episode or two on the gameshow network.)

So his proposal was that instead of getting a treadmill, which would be costly, bulky (we live in a cracker box) and only useful to me, that instead we would both join the gym together.

Hmmm... I lose 32 pounds and HE gets a gym membership?

My initial reaction was to say no way! I earned a treadmill, I have talked about a treadmill this whole time, it has been my 'prize' and I wanted my stinkin treadmill! But then I started thinking about the pros and cons of joining a gym rather than having a piece of equiptment in my home and my feelings on the membership changed.

If I join the gym then I get to spend more time with Marco, which is awesome. I also get to watch him sweat and suffer right along with me, which in itself makes the whole membership worth it. We can motivate each other while working out and even if we do use different pieces of equipment and aren't RIGHT next to one another, just knowing he is there with me means a lot.

If I joined the gym then I would have access to all sorts of equiptment and I could change up my routines regularly. If I got sick of walking in one place I could switch to biking nowhere. I could hop on the crosstrainer and go nowhere fast. I could row nowhere on the rowing machine and not have to worry about getting motion sickness! I would also have access to weight machines, a sauna, free weights and unlimited amount of exercise classes. This whole gym thing was really looking up.

So I took the deal. I decided to go with what was behind curtain number three and leave the treadmill up on stage. I didn't reach into "Montey's" polyester pants pocket to see the secret "prize" no matter how much he encouraged me.

But I didn't take the deal without making a little deal of my own. We could join the gym together BUT it had to be with a guarantee of at least a six month membership AND we had to go at least 3 times a week.

So you are now looking at member number 4055 at Club Sportive.