E is for Energy

I’m expending massive amounts of it several times a week.  I do it because I claim I want more.  In fact, I have heard myself tell people (and I truly do mean it) that the number one goal I have for my exercise is that it will give me energy (otherwise known as “oomph”).  I have said, and yes it is true, that even if I don’t lose an ounce, as long as I end up with more energy, I’ll be satisfied.

Look, do I want the poundage gone?  Oh, yeah.  I want it outta here.  Kaput even.  Sayonara.  Hasta la bye-bye.  However it’s true.  If I had to take a choice between skinny and lifeless or fat with energy, I’d be content with the fat.

However, I have to admit that it does seem a little backward the way I am going about it.  I get up.  I eat.  I eat so I can exercise.  If I don’t eat, I might pass out on the floor.  So, I eat.  Then I go expend energy.  TONS of it.  I lift weights, squat like I’m giving birth in a field, and walk like there’s no tomorrow on a treadmill.  Talk about a “rat race.”  Sheesh.  I sweat until my body is dripping.  It’s disgusting.  Truly it is.  I POUR (literally as you can see but thankfully the Internet does not let you smell) energy out of me in order to do what?  What was that again??  GET ENERGY?

It’s madness.  I must be insane.  That’s like saying I need to eat to lose weight.  Wait.  I do lose weight when I eat.  Oh, well, most people don’t.  So there.  It’s like saying I need to spend money to have money.  Yeah, that fits my analogy better.  Ignore the food thing.

However, every “expert” (self-appointed and universally accepted ones) will tell me that the best way to get energy is to wear myself out with this exercise thing.  So, I’m doing it.  I don’t know, maybe it’s like “priming a pump.”  Gotta pour water in before you can get any out.  Maybe somehow all that energy I’m expending zings about the room and then latches onto my enzymes somewhere and someday will come back to life after a long hibernation.

Yeah.  I’ll just hold onto that hope.  Otherwise, I might just cry.

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.

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’.

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.

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


Walk Like a…

Walk like a mom, talk like a mom… get this body in shape!

Tuesday-  I actually went a little stir-crazy.  That’s a good feeling.  I want to walk.  I enjoy getting out there, under the stars.  I like walking in the inky blackness.  There’s a moon now.  I want to enjoy it.

Wednesday- Well, I made it a mile.  at about .8 of a mile, it started to hurt just a little, but I never got to the limp thing.  that’s good anyway, eh?

Thursday-  One measley mile again.  I never got to true pain.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is it feels like I am back at square one.  Eking out one mile at a time all over again.  Sigh.

Friday- I’m excited to report that again, I only did one mile.  why am I excited, you ask?  I’ll tell you!  Because I am certain I could have gone another half at least.  Maybe two full miles.  I didn’t even have a twinge of shin pain.  Zippo.  Nada.  Nuttin.  Why didn’t I keep going?  Well, I think I’m learning something… finally.  There is a time for everything under heaven… a time to push and a time to pull.  Tonight, I didn’t push so I wouldn’t pull.  🙂  Pretty proud of myself.  Tomorrow, however…

Saturday- YAY!  Today is a double accomplishment!  I made it to the halfway mark and I bumped it back up to two miles all in one night.  So much fun.  I think I could have gone farther, but I made myself take my time.  I don’t want to end up back at one mile again!

Sunday- Ok, call me sad, but I’m jazzed that I’m OVER the halfway mark.  Silly, I know, but it’s cool that my little ticker has higher numbers on the left than on the right.  I’ll take what I can get.  😉  Two miles again.  I’ll stick with that until Monday or Tuesday and then consider going another half or full mile.  🙂

Monday- I walked with Braelyn again– three miles.  Woohoo.  I made myself go slow.  I paid close attention and really worked on it.  Prayerfully, no pain tomorrow.  That’s my goal.

You know, it’s been over a month since I started.  I don’t think I’ve lost any weight.  At most, one or two pounds.  It’s hard to tell.  My weight can fluctuate a full five pounds in the course of the day.  However, my clothes do fit differently.  I can pull on my pants without unzipping or unbuttoning.  New pants that fit just right– they’re baggy now and… yep.  No zipper/buttons needed.  My holster hips keep me from public humiliation with clothes falling off, but hey!  It’s a change.  I jiggle less.  Oh, yes.  I still jiggle.  Trust me.  But it’s less.  🙂

I Go Out Walkin’… After Midnight…

Sometimes.  Yeah.  See, my walks are at night.  Usually between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.  Sometimes around ten.  It varies.  I’m also brilliant at stating the obvious.  Why walk at such a late hour?  Well, solitude for one.  I can usually count the cars out on one hand– and we live on one of the busiest streets in town.  I also like the quiet, the cooler temperatures, and the lack of sun beating on me.  The sun always makes me so ill.

Tuesday- I read about all the troubles with the “Shape-up” style shoes and decided to replace the Dr. Scholl’s once I was using.  I hadn’t wanted them in the first place, but they were the most comfortable ones the store had, so I just deal with them– until a friend told about her friend breaking both ankles while wearing them– and she didn’t FALL!  Another friend mentioned that her mother did the same thing, so after checking out reviews, lawsuits, the works, I decided to wait until the “bugs” were worked out of the design.  So, with new shoes, I went walking.  One of the hardest nights of all.  I so wanted to quit.  Seemed like every bit of me ached.  I was SURE the new shoes would help the side pain, but they didn’t.  Sigh.  See, the side of my lower legs work (straight up from outer ankle to around the middle of the calf has been aching.  Ached even faster this time.  Sigh.

Wednesday- Limped along.  Every night seems to be another, “Do I go?  I’ve gone every night for eight nights… what’s wrong with a simple night off?  Sigh.  Apparently not.  I walked.  Didn’t wanna.  But I walked.

Thursday- I had blisters, aching legs, it was getting cold and I was tired.  I walked anyway.  The good news is that I didn’t need my nebulizer.

Friday- Graduation.  To be honest, I can’t believe I walked it.  I mean, seriously?  After all the hoopla?  But I did.

Saturday- Honestly, it was torture.  I was so tired and the limping began in the beginning.  I really didn’t know what to think.  I almost went home.  I mean, how much pain should you endure to keep going?  Is it worth it?  I didn’t know.  I fought for it though.  Barely finished.

Sunday- Desperation drove me to buy Dr. Scholl’s shoe inserts.  I put one in my right shoe only.  It worked.  Worked GREAT.  My leg didn’t ache until the last  lap or two.  In fact, I accidentally walked an extra long lap, so I ended up with half a lap more.  I also realized that I’d hit the point where I didn’t’ wonder if I was going.  It had become a matter of WHEN.  That was huge.

Monday-  After Braelyn’s party, I walked again.  It was hard primarily because my foot is cracked from drying out.  I bought some amazing cream that worked before.  I’m praying it’ll work as well again.  I’m so excited about the blisters being gone!

Tomorrow I start a new aspect of my walk strategy.  I’ve never done well in the sun.  I get very sick in the sun, but I decided to walk either .2 -.6 of a mile during the middle of the day in order to get some sun/Vitamin D etc.  Then, tomorrow night I’m going to ATTEMPT to add a bit of length to the walk so that the day total will either be 1.5-2 miles!  So exciting for me.  I just hope I can do it.  I’m going to try.  I mean, how can you succeed at anything if you never even try!

One Step at a Time~

I can’t imagine how many miles I’ve walked in my life.  As a child, I wandered all over the deserts, towns, and cities where I lived.  I remember even at five years old, walking across the street to play at the playground at the school.  At seven, I walked from our apartment to the park and the store.  At Grandma’s I’d walk to Skaggs, The Christian Emporium, or Bashas.  I walked around the block just because.  In Meiner’s Oaks, I walked to the pool almost daily in summer.  In Ventura, I walked to the beach, to the park… just to walk.  From place to place I went from walking blocks to miles– often.  I’ve always been able to walk almost  indefinitely.  I have never been physically strong or athletic, but I could walk.

Then I spend a year in a recliner.  Do you know what that does to a person’s stamina?  Yeah.  My stamina didn’t have enough oomph to climb into the toilet so I could say it went down.  Gross, but it’s exactly how I felt.  Folding laundry wears me out.  Mop the floor?  Yeah right.  Change the sheets?  I’ll rest for an hour afterward.  Clean the kitchen?  I’ll break out in a sweat in minutes.  This is just so frustrating.  So, I decided to work on it.  One mile at a time.

Last Tuesday night, I got in the car and drove around the block and then set the odometer.  Each block in our area is .10 mile.  That made counting miles easy.  So, I decided to do it.  One mile per day.  I figured if I couldn’t do it, I’d cut back to half a mile, but I was going to try.

Tuesday– By .3 mile, I was breathing hard and didn’t think I’d make it.  By .8, I almost stopped, but there’s that stubborn side of me that refused to give in.  I got home, grabbed my nebulizer, and collapsed on the couch.  However, two minutes into the nebulization, I felt great.

Wednesday-  I didn’t struggle at all until about .7 miles.  By the time I got home, I didn’t need it.  My chest felt funny, but it was fine.

Thursday- By .3 miles, I was really thinking I’d need the nebulizer.  By .8 I was struggling, but after I got home and stretched, I was fine.  You know, I almost did a mid-walk neb.  The difference between exertion and asthma is difficult to ascertain sometimes.  I’m really learning a lot about this condition.

Friday- I got the job done.  It wasn’t as exciting as other days.  I just walked.  I was quite sure that by the end of the first week, I’d be able to bump my distance a tenth or five more.

Saturday-  I struggled.  Oh my, I didn’t think I’d make it until the end.  Came home and nebulized.  I also realized that I’m consistently hungry at the end of my walks.  I was under the understanding that  most people lost their appetite for an hour or two after exercising.  When I get home, I’m ravenous.  It’s a good thing for me.  I don’t eat enough, so it’s nice to be hungry again– just not when I’m too tired to make food.  Time to buy nuts or make a salad before I leave.  Ugh.

Sunday- The hardest day yet.  I don’t know how I managed to finish.  By the time I was at .25, I stopped in the door and gasped, “Can you get the neb ready?”  Some how, I finished.  My leg ached and I iced it.  I gasped through the neb.  To be honest, I was tempted never to do it again.  It seemed a waste and possibly dangerous to keep trying.

Monday-  It looked like rain all day.  I didn’t know how I’d walk if it was raining.  At dinner time, it started.  Thankfully, it quit.  I expected to need the nebulizer, but I didn’t.  I did it.  Seven straight days of one mile per day.

You know, it’s not much.  Not really.  I’m used to so  much more from me, but compared to the past two or three years, it’s huge– very huge.  Now onto week two.