Armed and Painfulness

Well, it’s not a good play on words, but it’ll do.  Yesterday was my first Friday.  My first day for biceps, back, and I did do the forgotten calf stretch thingies from Wednesday.  Hey, I am TRYING here.

I waited until today to post results.  ARMS ARE SORE.  However, they are not as sore as the first day.  So, I think I did a good job knowing just how far to go.  That has to count for something.  I think I have a formula worked out.  See, I do three sets of fifteen repetitions on all my machines.  If I have to fight through any in the first set, it’s too much.  It needs to work something like this.

Set 1-  No fights but feel the burn.
Set 2-  Fight to get in the last 2-3.
Set 3-  Fight to get in the last 4 or 5.

Any more than that and the muscle soreness really does make it impossible to sleep well.  I think that’s a bit counter productive since I’m striving for ENERGY here.

I also had to rethink things on the treadmill.  In everything, I went up 5 lbs this week.  That felt great.  I’m making progress and improvement.  I want to keep that up!  But upping my speed got me a reduced walk on Thursday, so I decided to try it another way yesterday.  I started at 2.6 mph (I usually start at 2.8) and worked up another .1 every five minutes until I’d done five at 3.0 and then worked back down to 2.8.  It worked!  In fact, I got zero calf burn (when sometimes I get a little) so next time I’ll try starting at 2.7 and see if I can hold 3.0 for 10 minutes.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty confident despite the arms that are seriously ticked at me.  They aren’t revolting (aside from certain flabby issues) and I am not considering amputation, so all in all… good workout.

Oh, and you know how people always say that if you have flabby arms, work ’em out.  If you need to reduce your gut, do crunches.  If your thighs have been mistaken for claps of thunder, start jogging… well, I’ve always thought that was ridiculous.  I mean, there’s a good chance you’ll just add muscle behind all that fat while you lose weight in the one place that you can’t afford to lose it because that is how Murphy’s Law works.  Well, today I realized that my theory HAS to be correct.  My finger muscles HAVE to be the most fit muscles I have.  After all, I use them pretty much all day.  Have you seen my hands?  UTTER CHUBBINESS.  And for proof, I will now humiliate myself and show this video.

Feel the Burn

In your calf.  On the side.  Limp.  Limp, Jane Chautona, limp.  Ignore the pain.  Suffer.

Yeah.  The last two didn’t happen.  Halfway through my treadmill course today, I gave up.  I was limping.  I tried to up my mph and when I couldn’t walk out the burn, I finally conceded defeat and went home.

Somehow, it seems like today’s workout wasn’t meant to be.  I tried to go but stomach trouble sent me home for relief and more food.  I finally get back and did all my leggy stuff.  Extensions, curls, lifts, oh wait.  I forgot the lifts.  DRAT.  Someone was using it so I went over to glutes.  Yeah, my bum got the burn too.  Couldn’t do shoulders and back because I did arms yesterday (since I didn’t get there on Monday.)  I wanted to sleep tonight, so I saved shoulders and back for tomorrow.  Yeah.  Complicated.  OY.

Then this.  I lost 15 minutes of the treadmill.  😦  (10 minutes of workout and 5 of cool down)

Remind me that it’s much better than last month at this time when I hadn’t walked in weeks.  Remind me that at least I did SOMETHING.

Lie, if necessary.  I beg you.

Work It Five Pounds at a Time…

But it definitely costs more than a dime.  And in both time and money and ACHING muscles.

Today I moved up five pounds on everything!  That’s just cool.  It also went FAST.  I was amazed at how quickly I was on that treadmill.  Even the treadmill didn’t seem to take as long as it used to.  By the end of the week, I think I’ll be up to three miles per hour at least. I might even be able to bump the incline to three as well.  WOOT.

It seems kind of soon to bump up pounds, but I’ll take it.

Wait.  Did I just say that I’m putting on the pounds while working out?

Yeah.  Anyone who says this exercise thing isn’t crazy is, well, CRAZY!

Pavlov’s Workout

Conditioning.  There’s more to it than getting your body into good condition.  You know the story of Pavlov and how he taught his dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell?  Well, I’ve “conditioned” my body to the workouts already.  It’s simple.  Today I put on my workout clothes, which, by the way, were shorter pants and shirt sleeves than I had been wearing, and within seconds I was actually sweating.  Yes, my body just starts sweating now when I put on my exercise clothes.

Too bad it doesn’t burn the calories for me too.

Oh, and it was a precursor to what was to come.  By the time I got done on the treadmill today, my entire head, except for the hair on the very very very top thin layer at the top of my crown, was SOAKED in sweat.  Revolting.

Shoulders and legs got it today.  I couldn’t remember where one of the machines for legs were so I didn’t get the same jelly legs.  However, now I know what I need.  Squats.  There was no machine, we did squats.  So, this evening when I get some oomph again, I’ll do those blasted 45 squats.

I don’t have to want to.

Just sayin’.

Steppin’ It Up…

Not easy to add poundage when workin’ out.  Easy to add it when pregnant, but it’s not the kind of poundage we’re talking about.  I tried to convince myself today that all this blubber hanging all over my body has simply been my attempt at resistance training while walking around all day.  Yeah.  Sure it is.

So, a few things got a five pound raise today.  Brits would love that, wouldn’t they?  Show up at work and hear, “Hey, you’re getting a five pound raise today.”  My arms didn’t love it.  They are obviously not Brits.

The other trainer guy today showed me how to use other machines to get a better ab workout.  Oh joy.  No, I need it.  I wasn’t the slightest bit sore after the last ones and today he said I was doing them right.  Obviously I need more oomph in my quest for oomph. So, more machines tomorrow.  Yippie doodle!!!

Walkin’ got a boost too.  It was only a few minutes of more, but a few is better than none, right?

Arms aren’t as sore as before, but they are still sore. I like knowing I’ll wake up sore and stiff but not in dire pain.  That’s a good thing.

Oh, and I got a nice compliment.  There’s a man that’s very encouraging to everyone given half a chance.  Today in response to something he said, I joked that I really wanted to be able to chase around the grandkids.  For the record, I don’t look old enough to have them.


Repetitive Destiny

Edmund Burke once said, “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.”  Well, I don’t know if he said do not or don’t.  Sue me.

So, what does this have to do with my review of the popular novel, “The Hunger Games?” Oh, wait.  You didn’t know this was?  Well it is.  Take warning.  I usually try to avoid giving plot points away in a book review, but to say what I want to say about this series requires it.  If you’re sure you aren’t going to read them, read on; if you are curious.  If you have read them, then you know the ending etc anyway.  If you can handle spoilers–big ones–then you should be fine.  Otherwise, read the books first.  There’s nothing worse than reading a book, waiting for events to occur; you know they are coming but not why or in what context.

The Hunger Games is a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.  I have never read anything by her before, and I am not going to be snatching up all of her books out of a desperate need to read everything by her.  Why?  Did I not like the books? No, I liked the books immensely.  However, there are a few things about them that don’t appeal to me.

1.  Writing style.  Ms. Collins writes in a first person/present tense style.  The only thing I dislike more than first person fiction is present tense.  I did not take a college class I desperately wanted to take because I just deplore it.  The world raved about Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.  I gagged.

However, to be fair, the style does work for a book as fast-pasted and full of action as this book is.  I understand why she chose it.  I might even agree it was a good choice.  I simply did not enjoy reading it for that reason.

2.  Dystopian literature is not my favorite genre.  Who am I kidding?  I have never finished any dystopian book that I can recall.  I hate it.  It’s not my “thing.”

3.  The subject matter– war, children as pawns in the hands of the government, the after effects on everyone– not my favorite subjects.

So, with three things that I truly do not like in fiction, why would I read these books and deem them “good?”  Why would I even finish the first, much less the other two?  I’m going to be honest.  I almost didn’t read the second and third books, but not because I was not interested in finishing, but because I had been told spoilers–big ones.  I knew they must be incomplete, but as I already said, it is difficult to keep reading when you know that things you wish didn’t have to happen are coming.

So, here we go…

The Hunger Games

The premise of this book is that many years prior to the opening pages, North America was unified into one “country,”  Panem after some sort of worldwide destruction of civilization.  This country has been divided into twelve (once thirteen) districts.  To keep tight control over the districts after a failed revolt all those years ago, “The Capitol” requires that each district select two children (ages 12-18 if I remember right) to represent it as “tributes” in the “Hunger Games.”

The Hunger Games are horrifying.  They should be.  The objective is to set twenty-four children into an arena to battle for their lives.  The sole survivor wins and their family receives prizes that transform their lives.  The arena isn’t what you’d expect.  It’s not a big football field or a Roman Colosseum (despite the chariots in the “opening ceremonies”).  Imagine a “Survivor” island type thing designed to be as brutal as possible to survive in all while literally picking off your opponents.  Brutal.  And that’s the point.

The Capitol wants the districts to live in holy terror of what would happen if they dared to attempt another revolt.  People are scared to resist.  They are desperate.

The main character is Katniss.  When her father died, she had to take over the provision for the family.  This taught her excellent hunting and survival skills.  It also taught her how to break rules.  Poaching, forbidden and carrying the punishment of death, has been their means of existence.

The selection of “tributes” was called the “reaping.”  In the first book, Katniss’ little sister was called out–highly statistically improbable.  She volunteered to take her sister’s place.

What I like about the book is that it does not gloss over the indignities that the tributes are put through in preparation for the games.  Most of the tributes don’t like that they’re put into the games.  Only a couple of districts have lost the horror for them that they should have.

As I read the book, I have to confess, I couldn’t ignore the parallels between this arena and those of Ancient Rome when gladiators were pitted against one another, prisoners against, wild animals, and Christians thrown to lions for the sheer bloodthirstiness of it.  I wondered if it was deliberate.

Once the games begin, I expected gratuitous violence.  Honestly, I expected to read of the slaughter, one after another, of the tributes.  I waited for it to come.  It didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, people die and in horrific ways.  Injuries are frequent and gruesome–however she didn’t describe them in the detail I expected.  Thankfully.  Knowing it happened was enough.

Good news comes mid-games.  Two tributes from one district, if both are alive at the end, can win.  Immediately, she joins forces with the boy from her district (the one who she is supposed to be in love with), and they work together to survive.  Oh, and she just happens to save his life.  No biggie.

I read arguments about sensuality in the book.  I found none.  There is even some kissing in this book and even that isn’t sensual.  Katniss is not comfortable with nudity or even the kissing.  However, in order to get sponsors (who provide emergency medical care, tools, food, and things like that), she has been told to play up an imaginary (on her part anyway) romance for the cameras.  Yes, this whole thing is televised.  The entire country watches.

The death of one of the other tributes is heart wrenching.  It should be!  An innocent child was thrown into a pit and told to either kill or die.  She dies.  Katniss as her ally (for as long as possible), is grieved at the loss.  There is a minor relief in that she knows she won’t be forced to kill the girl, but really?  What kind of relief is that when this girl saved your life only days earlier?

The most savage part was when mutant animals tear one of the tributes to pieces.  Again, I really think she worked hard to keep as much of the gruesomeness out while still trying to make the reader really see what horrors the Capitol is putting these kids through.  At last she and the boy, Peeta, are the last two standing and then they’re told that there can only be one winner.  One has to kill the other.  They won’t.  Instead of killing the other, they each decide to take poisonous berries to kill themselves.  They know the Capitol wants a victor.  It’ll force the Capitol to capitulate and it works.

Catching Fire

After the games, Katniss’ family’s situation is greatly improved, but there’s a storm brewing.  People are beginning to revolt all over the country.  Districts don’t have the resources to do it, and yet there are whispers of it.  As a way to punish Katniss for her rebellion with the berries, the next games are called and they’ve decided to cull tributes from previous victors.  So once again, Katniss and Peeta are headed into the arena.

Now, in the past year, something happened.  I don’t remember where, but there was a huge party with hundreds of different dishes to try.  When Katniss became too full, she was offered a pill to “purge” so that she could continue to enjoy the delicacies.  Sound familiar?  Doesn’t all of this sound horribly familiar?  My initial reaction seemed even more accurate then.

During the next games, things are very different.  There’s the understanding that she’s there to protect Peeta and he intends to protect her.  They band together with other tributes and you know something is going on, even though you don’t know what it is.  Just as things get hot and heated, they lift Katniss from the arena.  Who “they” are, however, is initially uncertain.

Her home is gone.  The Capitol has destroyed it.  District 13, always thought to have been destroyed in a nuclear attack back before the Hunger Games began, still exists and is base for the resistance.  War is coming.  The people are done yielding to the tyranny of the Capitol– finished with the horrifying games.  They are done.


In the final book of this series, it does seem quite hopeless at times.  They’re fighting what seems to be a losing battle.  Every time she thinks she has a way to beat down the president, he taunts her with his ability to evade her and the rest of the resistance.

In this book, the author confirmed my suspicions.  She is writing the fall of the Roman Empire in a way that makes it glaringly clear to today’s reader.  She has set it somewhat in our time and somewhat in a future time we never want to have to live.  It’s chilling.  It should be.

It’s all out war with all the horrors within.  There is heroism, tragedy, and deep terrible pain.  People die.  They’re tortured and killed (thankfully, we almost only hear of it rather than “witness” it through Katniss’ eyes).  Peeta has been held by the Capitol and brainwashed in the most horrible way. He seems almost insane.  Her best childhood friend is driven to bring down the Capitol.  She is traumatized by the effects of the battles she has fought.  There is real loss.

So why do I like these books?  Don’t they sound horrible and depressing?  Honestly, if I heard about them without reading them, I might have thought they would be.  I wasn’t sure about the premise before I read it.  However, they aren’t.  There is a lot of hope in these books.  I appreciate that an author took such horrible themes to their logical conclusion.  Think about it.  This book addresses the lack of value of human life.  It addresses excess in entertainment.  It address oppressive and tyrannical government and what should happen.  Do we remember our history lessons?  That wonderful and terrifying line of America’s Declaration of Independence?

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

These books tell the story of what has already happened in our country in times past.  We shook off government, far less horrifying than that of Panem, and from the rubble and ashes, created a new government “conceived in liberty” no less.  America’s children are weaned on violence on screen and off.  Their games are bloodshed driven and the desensitization process is nearly complete in some areas.

These books appeal because those same children have a legacy handed down by our forefathers and by the other civilizations that emerged after the crumbling of other places like Rome.  We know what happens.  We can see the finger of history writing on our walls (forgive the Biblical allusion of God’s hand writing please) and the books seem to ask the question, “what are you going to do about it?”  It’s a call that says, “Are we going to let the continual devaluation of lives and encroachment of government into our lives?

The funny thing is, I have no idea if that’s what the author meant.  I have no concept of her worldview and frankly, I don’t want to know.  This is what I got from the books.  This is what I respect about them.  She didn’t leave the situation hopeless.  It starts hopeless.  It starts with a terrible situation that seems impossible to overcome.  It takes you through scenarios that make you feel as if there is no chance of a resolution.  You see that people want change but are afraid of it.  In the end, there’s an epilogue.  It’s beautiful.  The people, scarred by what they’ve lived through, have hope and purpose again.  Their fears still haunt them at times, sure.  But they continue, even rising above those fears, because hope isn’t gone.  I guess the old saying, “hope springs eternal” really is true.

And yes, I do note the irony of how often I slipped into first person/present tense in this review.  It’s hilarious.  The books seem to demand it.  They’re welcome to, but I still don’t have to like it.

To rate it simply:

Profanity- none
Sex- none
Sensuality- none to almost none (if hearing that someone is naked is sensual in your book–not a description of that nakedness just the fact of it– then there’s a little).
Violence-  moderate to high (there are a lot of occurrences of it but they are not detailed.  So, it depends upon whether the existence of it makes it high in your book or not).
Religion-  none.  It is not disparaged, encouraged, nothing.  It is non-existent.  Would I have preferred it written from a distinctly Christian worldview?  Of course!  However, with the value shown for human life by the main characters and the distaste for the superficiality and excess in the Capitol, there are definitely Christian themes whether or not they were intentional.

I think I Muffed It

My sit ups on the “ball.”  I’m supposed to do them for “abs.”  They were too easy.  I’m not sure what I did wrong.  After all, I did try to work only from my abdomen. So, we’ll see in the morning if I’m sore at all.

Right now, soreness is doable.  It’s there, it’s constant even, but it isn’t PAIN anymore.  I also notice that with less pain, I don’t have my stomach growling within minutes of getting home.  That helps a lot.  I eat– actually that was today’s revelation.  A few facts about me.

  1. I forget to eat– often
  2. I rarely feel hungry.  I know I’m hungry when I want to go to bed and can’t think.  Problem is, I can’t think so I don’t realize I’m hungry.  It’s a vicious cycle.
  3. I lose weight when I eat more.  Not when I eat healthy or when I do anything that the books say to do.  Volume in equals weight down for me.

So, when I looked at my situation, I realized that I’ve been eating more the past week or so.  First, I did not want to exercise on an empty stomach.  That made me eat fairly soon after getting up.  That helped with my fourth food fact that I wasn’t going to share.  I will now.  Warning:  TMI

When I go too long between meals, food runs right through me.  Yeah.  I used each word there very carefully.  It’s what I do.  Just take note.

So, last week, I had no issues with too long between meals because not only did I eat when I got up, I ate when I got home!  I was hungry.  I FELT hungry (weird feeling btw.)  I ate snacks pretty much all day.  BULLY FOR ME!

So, if this does nothing else for me, I might lose a few pounds just by eating more often!

I really want the energy more, though.  I mean it when I say that if I get NOTHING else but some “oomph” from this I’ll be satisfied.  Do I want less poundage?  OH YEAH!  Do I want to go down a few sizes?  Ya, sure, you betcha!  I want to go down at least 100 lbs.  That’s not going to put me at a skinny weight btw.  However, I mean it when I say that if it only gives me energy again, I’ll be satisfied.

However, I might be ticked off that I had to spend so much time EATING.  Sigh.

Screamin’ Muscles

I’ve heard of those before.  I have.  I always thought it meant “ouch!” Mine don’t scream “ouch” or “watch it!” like I thought muscles did.  I just thought it meant that you really really really REALLY irked them and they bit back a bit.

Mine are screaming.  They are.  Unfortunately, my muscles do not have speech seasoned with salt or grace.  They’re swearing at me in several languages.  Hey, my muscles swear in tongues.  They try to be Christian I guess.  I say they fail.  They’re really ticked.

What, you thought I gave up?  I mean, Wednesday was the last time I posted about my workouts.  You did, didn’t you?  I don’t blame you.  Utter silence.

Well, my muscles weren’t, but I try to keep this a G… at worst PG rated blog.  My muscles’ language isn’t.

Thursday, we had company.  I was grateful.  Truly.  I was thrilled to death.  After all, it was a PERFECT excuse to sit on the couch and snuggle adorable twins, giggle with a fun little boy, and sing songs with the sweetest Rachael on the planet.  Friday I was still hobbling.  Seriously.  I had to have help getting out of the couch and let’s just say sitting on other things periodically throughout the day was um… TORTURE.  I took naps, tried to sleep with my arms freaking out on me, and then woke up Saturday.  Hobbling.  Not as bad, but sitting still hurt.  A bunch.  GRR.

Yesterday I felt much better.  I hardly hobbled at all really.  Maybe a step or two when first waking up or getting up but I don’t know if anyone but me noticed.  It was good.  I thought about going in for the treadmill only.  Then I got really tired, my stomach got upset, so I decided to take one more day off.  Yeah, I felt like a failure.  Three days on, four days off.  Even my government employee husband works four days a week!

I got up today– tired.  I went to bed late.  The stupid daylight thing messes with me badly.  But I got up and I went.  I lowered the pounds on some of the aparati (or is it aparatuses?).  If the trainer guy had to help me finish my repetitions last time, it went down five pounds.  I did one set wrong.  Had to redo them.  Yeah, that was fun.

I sweated my way through the treadmill, dying to stop (and worse than I ever had before!  I seriously wanted to quit).  Somehow I finished.  Somehow.  Day four.  I consider it a success.  I was faster, did it all myself, lowered things just a bit so that maybe I won’t die trying to sleep tonight, and so far I’m not screaming for a nap.

I learned something today though.  The machine has a big red “STOP” button for if you think you’re going to fall over or for whatever reason you might need to stop.  I found I had to stop looking at it.  It taunted me.  I wanted to obey.  I wanted to stop.  It danced in front of my eyes with its huge redness saying, “You know you want to.  So, I kept my eyes on the timer.  It ticked down too slow.  I kept them on the heart rate thingie.  Again, not helping.  I closed them, but with ear plugs I felt a bit unsteady with my eyes closed, so that didn’t work.

At last, I stared outside and walked as if I could actually reach the other side of the street.  It was kind of like one of those horrible dreams where you keep running but you don’t get anywhere.  Yeah.  Like that.  Except that I knew in my head there was an end, and I would get over there as soon as I got done.

My Facebook status today:
Dear Muscles,
I am so sorry. Please forgive me.
Prostrate (and I mean that literally),

Yeah.  That about sums it up.  Until tomorrow… assuming there is one…  Oh wait, it’s already tomorrow in Australia.  Dad burn it.

Shock and Disgust~

I see it happen all around me.  Who am I kidding?  I see it happen within me.  A new book, movie, TV show, lyrics to a popular song, slang… you name it.  Something comes on the scene and the church gets up in arms about it.

“How dare they trivialize abortion in that song!”

Whatever the case, you soon see Facebook statuses flow with disgust for the latest assault on Christian values.  Heck, we get sick of assaults on common decency!  Message board posts abound with titles like, “Have you seen/heard this thing?”  The threads, emails, statuses, and tweets all decry the attack on purity, marriage, parents’ rights, with things like infidelity, profanity, or “children’s rights” (you know, the rights to behave in any way that is legal or not and make the parents responsible for it but limit their ability to limit the behavior!).  Look, I agree with those things.  I don’t like them any more than the next person, and frankly, I’m just as likely to pick up the banner cry and carry it myself.  I’m not about to lower the boom on anyone else here before I get cracked over the head first, but yes there is a huge pregnant “but” coming.

Why are we so quick to rant and rail ant the world behaving like the lost, Christ-needing people they are instead of quick to rant against our own problems?  Why are we willing to gossip about ugly TV shows instead of attacking the ugly gossip in our own hearts?  Why are we willing to fight against pornography when we aren’t willing to fight our own lusts?  Why are we so quick to denounce foul language and sensuality on the big screen but ignore the foul things we think and say about others.  Slander?  It’s forbidden too, folks!

I know we want to clean up the world in which we live.  We’re sick of getting splashed on by tires throwing the muck of it against us.  We want to take the world for Christ!  PRAISE THE LORD!  Let’s do it!  But um, didn’t Jesus say something about dealing with the planks in our own eyes before we start trying to dig out the specks in others’?

Am I the only one who wonders what the effect would be if Christians were “…Christians, Christians only
Serving Jesus, our only plea
If we’d all give up to the precious Son…” (Keith Lancaster)

I just can’t help but wonder what would happen if we stopped pointing accusing fingers at the world, shocked at the lostness of it all, and started pointing it inward at ourselves, shocked at our own sinfulness–eager to change ourselves.


Third Time Isn’t Charming

Just sayin’.  Look, I don’t want this to be a continual whine about how horrible it is to workout.  I don’t want to go on and on about how much pain I am in.  Today was my first true failure.  I don’t like failure.

So, the first thing I did was squats.  Fifteen.  Legs weak.  Fifteen more. Legs were worthless almost.  However, they got even more worthless when the guy tells me I’m not going down “straight.”  I’m bending at the waist.  OOPS!  I thought I was going straight!  So, I try again.  I couldn’t walk to the next apparatus.  Which was, leg curls of some kind.  Three sets of fifteen.  It took me at least twenty minutes to do all sets.  The next was pretty easy, but you’re supposed to wipe down the equipment between uses.  The bottle was on the other side of the room.  I had to hobble over there.  I hobbled not because I was in pain, but because my legs were jelly.  I’d heard of jelly legs.  I am alive to tell you that they are NOT a myth.

Everywhere I walked, my legs buckled beneath me.  Then it was time for shoulders.  Did I mention that my shoulders were SCREAMING in pain from yesterday?  Yeah.  Not good.  I sat at the first one and after much too long, managed to get one hand on the grip.  Second one came.  I barely got my fist around it.  Now push up.  Um, not happening.  It felt like I’d rip a muscle.  Now, no I don’t think I would have but it FELT like I would have.  I physically could not make me do it.  After ten minutes, and not being able to push up once, I gave up.  Onto the next.  Did it.  Barely, but did it.  Onto the next.  Now frankly, the last one was too easy.  Really, it was.  It was so easy the machine didn’t know what to do with me, but I figured my arms hurt enough already that all I wanted was the motions, not weight resistance.  I didn’t want to make them scream more.  I did anyway and that was with a mere 10 lbs.  10 measly little pounds.

Then I went to the trainer guy and asked what to do about the treadmill.  I mean, I could barely make it across the room.  Was it worth TRYING or not?  I didn’t want to be stupid.  He told me to go on the bike.  So, I rode 2.5 miles.  That works.  I like that.  And, by that point, I was no longer unable to walk to the car!  YAY!

I ended up getting a nice nap immediately.  I am now starving.

Tomorrow… maybe tomorrow I can go to bed without crying when I attempt to turn over.  My arms hate me.  I hate them.  It’s mutual.

Resistance Training

I didn’t sleep last night.  If I moved, my right arm begged me to give it to someone for anything– anything!  I don’t know how I managed not to scream out each time.  Pain.

You know the old “No pain, no gain?”  Um, I don’t want to gain, so does that mean I can skip the pain part?

Today I went in to walk.  I actually did better than yesterday.  That counts, right?

Then it was time for abs.  Um, I don’t have abs.  They disappeared nine kids ago.  Just holding onto the stupid machine killed my arms.

I now know what resistance training is.  It’s when you resist doing any further physical training at all.

Who knew that I’ve been “in training” for years.  I’ve resisted this for DECADES.

Let me state that once more just to be clear.

Resistance training

def: the avoidance of all physical exertion


Farewell to Arms

Nine o’clock last night.  I went to Wal-Mart.  I purchased “Zone bars.”  By the way, the mint chocolate ones aren’t bad.  I bought “workout” capris and two shirts.  Oh, and a water bottle.  No matter what happened today, I’d be fed, watered, and cute.  Kind of like a dog after a visit to the groomer.

Twenty pounds…  back and to front.  Back and to front.  Twelve times.  Back… and they hang there, refusing to move.  The trainer guides my hands together in front– three more times.  Voila.  Done, right?  Nooooo… he goes down to fifteen pounds.  A minute later, I’m told to do fifteen more repetitions.  Ten, eleven, twelve, nothing.  Seriously.  Nothing.  They won’t go again.  Sooooo, back we go again, he helps me pull them forward and get ‘er done.  Five pounds down again.  Another minute to rest.  I made it to ten.  The last five took help again.  My introduction to “incline press.” Oy.

Vertical press.  Pec/Chest Fly (whatever those mean).  And… lather.  rinse.  repeat.  My arms are screaming at me at this point.

I go to the “Tricep Exctensions”  For the first time, I had zero trouble.  Zero.  The next one, however, I never could pull off.  No pun intended.  Oh, heck, who am I fooling?  All kinds of puns intended.  It’s a rope.  You lean against the padding and pull this rope thing down and out.  I could get it down, but not out.  Could not do it.  Could. Not.  So, my personal torturer told me how to use the weights to do it.  I did five and then once again, my arm simply would not go up.  Not up.  Nope, refused to move.  I’ve never felt anything like that in my life!  Usually, I try to lift something and then I can’t.  I’ve never done something repeatedly and then bam… my body refused.  I’ve had it hurt to do it– feel the burn.  However, I’ve never tried and simply had the muscles go limp like an out of control child in a grocery store aisle.

Finally, I am done.  I have no arm strength left, but um, I’m done.

HA!  The torturer laughs.  He introduces me to the “rat race” of gyms.  The treadmill. Now, the last time I was on a treadmill was for legalized medicinal torture.  This is legalized personal torture and while not as horrible as the medicinal variety, I do think it is a poor man’s version.  I would be the poor man.

He pops the incline up to a “2” (whatever that means) and the mph to 3.2.  Off I go.  Five to ten minutes into the thing, I start feeling a little dizzy.  He bumps it down to flat and 2.  After catching my breath and controlling my breathing again, I bumped it to 1.5 incline and 2.6.

In 45 minutes on this thing, I burned 132 calories.  Oh joy.  Do you know how many calories one must burn to lose a pound?  OY.

Take note, young mothers, LOSE THAT WEIGHT after each baby.  Just do it.  PLEASE.

I already miss my arms.  I hope I find them again.

Real or Fraud

Hypocrisy is one of the nastiest words thrown at Christians. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most accurate as well.  Add to that, the seeming inability to admit to said hypocrisy and you get a double whammy with it. We’re not just hypocrites with strangers, non-Christians, or even in the church.  No, we’re hypocrites even within our own hearts.  It’s disgusting.

Picture a room–a semi-circle of chairs with anxious-looking people, unwilling to meet one anothers’ eyes.  One woman squirms before standing and shuffling to the front of the room.  Her eyes seem to look anywhere but at the eyes now staring at her.  She frowns and wills herself to meet the gaze of the others.  Clearing her throat, she speaks.

“Hello, I’m Chautona.  I’m a hypocrite.  It’s been…” she glances at her watch, “fourteen seconds since I last failed in my attempt to eradicate hypocrisy from my life.”

You think fourteen seconds was harsh?  Let me tell you something.  Chautona expects others to admit to their failings instead of trying to justify them.  She was doing it in her heart.  That’s just as wrong as verbally.  Chautona also expects people to look her in the eye when speaking to her– at least some of the time.  She didn’t want to and tried not to.  Chautona is a hypocrite.  Yes, I am a hypocrite.  I hate it.  I feel like the Apostle Paul.  I don’t do what I should do, I do what I don’t want to do, wretched woman that I am…

But I’m not wretched.  Not really.  I’ve got Jesus.  I’m cleansed.  That double-standard I hold that I don’t even realize yet– it’s already been nailed to the cross and forgiven.  That’s so amazing!  He washed me clean.  CLEAN.  It’s done.

None of this is news to anyone though, is it?  I mean, the funny thing is–ironic really– is that I’ve never pretended that I wasn’t a hypocrite!  How stupid is that?  But… it’s true.  Sad and sorry, but it’s true.

See, I’m a fraud.  Hurts to admit it by the way.

The alternative, I’ve been told, is to be “real.”  I agree.  Let’s be real.  I can go there.  Isn’t that what I’m doing here?  Being real?  Confessing my faults “one to another” as James tells me to?

Wanna know what real isn’t to me?  Real isn’t making others endure my sinfulness.  Real isn’t saying, “I know that my smoking puts your life at risk.  Tuff.  It’s who I am.  I’m being real.”  Real is when I say, “I care enough about my friend that I’ll shower, change my clothes, and walk down the street to visit you so that I don’t put your health at risk.  That’s not fake.  That’s not hypocrisy!  That’s REAL love for you.

If I visit a friend whose husband finds purple tops too provocative to endure, I’m not going to wear a purple top– even if I wear one every other day of the week.  I’m not going to do it because it’s courteous.  It’s loving my brother in Christ!  For heaven’s sake!  We have enough that we’re hypocrites about without letting our Christian liberty trample our brothers and sisters in the process.  I can drink alcohol with a 100% clear conscience.  I “never” do (can probably count on one hand since I moved out of my parents house).  Why don’t I?  Well, lots of reasons, concern that I might learn to like it too much being a major one, but the biggest is that my husband doesn’t like it.  He doesn’t like it in the house.  He doesn’t like it near his spouse.  😉  I love him.  He knows I don’t have a problem with drinking it–heck!  He doesn’t have a problem with anyone drinking it.  He just doesn’t like the stuff and I love him.  I’m not going to drink it if it is something he’d rather wasn’t here!  So, we’ve got our medicinal bottle of Jack Daniels, and I do not pour it in my Coke.  That doesn’t make me a hypocrite.  That doesn’t mean I’m not real.  That means I AM REAL.  I am REALly loving my husband by keeping the alcohol consumption out of here.

Since when did our being “real” mean that we have to make the rest of the world–our Christian brothers and sisters–have to endure things that violate their conscience.  Why is it that one brother can feel comfortable watching a violent movie and because he does, his friend with a more tender conscience can either suck it up and deal with it or go home?  Why must it be THAT movie when the friend is around.  Is a movie really more important than a man Jesus died for? So what if the brother is wrong and it’s ok to watch this movie.  Let’s assume it’s like meat offered to idols.  Paul said DON’T SERVE IT TO THE WEAKER BROTHER.  Paul didn’t say tell the weaker brother to eat up, don’t look, or go away.

We’re all frauds–hypocrites.  We are.  It’s not just in the church.  The world is full of frauds both Christians and non-Christians.  But if our “real” selves trample our brothers and sisters in Christ with our “reality,” what does that say about what we’re doing to people that Jesus was tortured, beaten, and murdered for?  It’s still “real” if you yield to serve a brother in Christ.  You don’t have to lie and pretend you don’t usually eat that meat offered to idols, drink that beer, listen to that musician, watch that movie, use that language, whatever the issue is.  You don’t have to lie!  You can be real and still show love for the person who isn’t comfortable with those things.  That’s real too.  It’s real and RIGHT.

The fraud is the person who says that they serve and follow Christ and hold onto their own rights so tight that they trample people that Jesus said to “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;”  (Rom 12:10).

Kill THAT hypocrisy.  I dare you.