Nothing to Write Home About

I am astounded to realize it’s been 19 days since I have written anything on this blog.  I knew it had been some time, but I really didn’t think I had gone that long.

It has been an odd time for me.  There’s really nothing particularly exciting  to report and I haven’t been feeling particularly creative or inspired.  Nineteen days is a long time, however, and it seemed wise to post something.

Things have been moving along in the gym.  Not quickly, but moving along,  nonetheless.  I’ve only managed a couple days since my last post, mostly because I’ve been sick again.  Well, I’m not sure how sick, I’ve been.  I’ve had a throat tickle and cough for weeks.  I don’t really feel sick, per se, just  coughy and a little snotty.  (There are those who would tell you I am more  than a little snotty and that it’s not a temporary condition, but I digress.)

I hate this time of year for this reason.  As much as I enjoy variety and a  theoretical change of the seasons, the change here in the bay area, is  remarkably drawn out.  It’s as if Mother Nature can’t make up her mind about  whether it should be summer, winter or spring and as a result we get a little bit of each, every week.  My body doesn’t react well to rapidly changing  weather patterns and I tend to get this coughy/snotty predicament every  “spring” and “fall”.  I always think it will pass quickly, but it doesn’t.

Anyway, I’ve still been getting up early, but I’ve been getting up to a freezing cold house and if it’s freezing cold in my house, I can only imagine what it’s  like outside and going out in that weather, let alone going out all sweaty, post work-out, seems like an un-wise idea.  But as a result, I have not been to the  gym nearly as much as I should and as I mean/want to.

I have made it to all of my sessions with the personal trainer and I must admit to being quite surprised by the amount of impact that one hour each week seems to have. This past Saturday, I met with Tawaiin and he did weights and measures.  As of that date, I have lost a total of 42 pounds.

I thought about what I would tell my mother next time we discussed it.  The last time she saw me, this past July, I was 288 pounds, so based on that, I  would have lost 21 pounds.  But I gained a few pounds back between seeing her and starting the gym on Halloween and based on that number I’ve lost  about 25 pounds.

I’ve decided that instead of trying to figure out and explain, “If you’re counting from ‘this time’ I’ve lost X number of pounds, and if you’re counting form ‘that time’ I’ve lost Y number of pounds” and I’m just going with the highest number I ever remember seeing on the scale, 309 pounds.  On Saturday morning, before going to the gym, I weighed myself in at 267 and thus, I have lost 42 pounds.

Pounds lost are not really my barometer.  I’ve said from the beginning that  I’m there to be healthier and get stronger and that’s definitely happening, but because weight-loss is not my primary, objective, I’ve not beaten myself up  too much over an occasional indulgence, or an indulgent day/week-end.  This week-end was definitely an indulgent week-end and I gained about three and a half pounds back.  That’s OK.  I’m back on track today with my diet and I have my next session with Tawaiin tonight.  No, pounds lost are not my measure of success.  It is a measurable result and I’m OK with looking at that.  I fully realize there is a direct correlation between pounds lost and general  health.  Certainly, at 270 pounds I’m not the healthy person I want to be, but I also understand that I don’t have to be 170 to be healthy, either.  My mindset is, simply, that I’m shooting for 175 pounds as a definable goal, all  the while realizing that I may well find satisfaction before I get their.

In taking my measurements this week-end though, Tawaiin determined that we needed to spend some time focusing on my legs and my chest and back.  It makes sense.  I didn’t lose any inches (or portion thereof) since my last set of measurements.  However, right off the bat he had me do an exercise that tired my quads out from the get go.  Today, the third day, my legs are so sore and tired and I have my next session tonight.  We shall see how that goes.

It Never Fails!

No sooner do I make a declaration for my handful of readers all the world to see,  but I suffer some sort of set back.  I was pretty happy with the way things turned out on Monday.  Half an hour at the gym in the morning, two thirds of that time  spent running and not walking.  Follow that up with my usual hour long session  with the personal trainer in the evening and I was doing pretty well.

Except, my session on Monday night didn’t go all that well.  My ham strings were bothering me again and that was causing pain in my knees that isn’t especially helpful when the trainer wants you to jump and step a lot.  And then, as if that  weren’t enough, my left shoulder basically shut down on me.  He had me doing  lateral shoulder presses, and chest presses and chest flies and at some point in the early stages of that my left arm stopped working.  I could complete the motion with my right arm with relative ease (the farther I got into the set the more fatigue  set in and I struggled, but I finished) but my left arm couldn’t get beyond the  halfway point.

My trainer, Tawaiin (pronounced Tuh-wahn) didn’t seem particularly concerned  about what was happening but did seem to recognize that it wasn’t the kind of  thing we could just push through.  More than once he reduced the number of reps or told me to stop before we were finished.

One of the reasons I’ve pushed myself to find the funding for the trainer is that I  need the accountability and the demand that he places on me.  Without someone holding me accountable for finishing each set, I would stop as soon as it became a struggle, thinking that was good enough and all I could do.  Tawaiin has  consistently held me accountable to do all of the reps and finish the sets and get  the most out of my work outs.  And I have, proving that, yeah, it sucks, but I can do it.  Monday was my fifteenth session with him and in that time he’s seen me do everything he’s asked me to do.  He’s seen me make an effort to do whatever he asks of me, even when I feel like I can’t do it and he’s seen me push myself to complete it all.  So when I simply could not make my arm move any farther than it had already he knew it wasn’t going to happen.  Still, I was frustrated. By the time I got home, took a shower, heated and ate dinner and ironed two sets of clothes for work, my legs were hurting immensely.  I finished ironing at 10:00, put  everything away and sat down to finish whatever TV show I was watching (Chuck?) and give the cat the requisite lap time he’d been waiting so impatiently for.

I made it to bed, watched a half hour show on Tivo and rolled over to go to sleep by 11:00, but getting up Tuesday morning was much more difficult.  I hadn’t taken any measures to remedy my leg pain, thinking that sleep and lack of use would take care of things.  When my alarms went off in the morning, I could barely make it  across the room to turn them off, let alone go to the gym and run.  I set the alarms for a late time and went back to bed.  I had every intention of going to Yoga on Tuesday night, but by the end of the day I realized I was just too sore and tired  (and a little scared of further aggravation) to make it after all.  I wimped out, went home and rested but not before making lunches for the next two days.

Last night, I was in bed by 10:20, watched the inside of my eyelids a re-run of Modern Family and went to sleep.  I wore a knee brace all night which seemed to help this morning.  When the alarms went off, I did snooze them (twice) but got up  after that.  It was a little slower going than it was on Monday, but I made it to the  gym a few minutes after 7:00.  There were significantly more people at that time, but not so many that they got in my way.  I was only planning for 30 minutes again and I managed to run for twelve minutes of that time.  Ultimately, I had to slow down and walk again.  My knees were OK, and I was still breathing steadily not  gasping for air but my shins and ankles were hurting and I had to drop down to walking again.  No cheesy “in the zone” moments for me today. 🙂

I guess the lesson to take away from all this, is exactly what I said in Monday’s post:

“…I’m not perfect and sometimes I fail to follow through on my plans.  I take comfort in the fact that when that happens, I’m not a failure, I’m not a loser, I’ve got nothing to be upset about, I’m simply human and just like everyone else.  What I’m going to tell you is that I won’t get up at 5:30 every single morning to go the gym.  Sometimes I’ll take a break…”

What’s important is that I “got back on the horse” as they say.  I got up this morning and got my butt to the gym.  It was tough.  Definitely not as smooth as I would like it to be, but hey, this is the first week and after a lifetime of being a night person and not a morning person.  Progress is progress…