Posts tagged exercise

Nine Months

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me and my brother

The quality of this picture isn’t the greatest, but this is me and my brother taken a few days ago when he randomly had the opportunity to come up and see me. We met in a nearby town and had a wonderful lunch together- I’m nine months pregnant here and I jokingly told him that he should know how much I love him since I drove somewhere to be able to see him. Of course, when you’re full term, it’s really hard to get comfortable, and sitting in a car driving is no exception! I bet I look so ridiculous to people passing by on the road. I have to twist and contort my body in any and all attempts for just a few moments of pain-free driving. The baby is sitting right on a nerve, making sitting and standing incredibly painful. It’s really awkward when you can’t stand for long, and you can’t sit for long either.

And you know what? Through all this, I STILL go work out! Believe it or not, jogging (well, now that I’m so pregnant, it’s more like power-waddling) on the elliptical isn’t so bad. I think that’s what’s helped keep any swelling at bay, in addition to the light weight-training I’ve continued to do since before I was even pregnant. There is a HUGE difference between this pregnancy and my last one, and I swear exercise has been a huge part of making me feel so much better. I’m sure it will also help when labor and delivery roll around as well. Fingers crossed!

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Gym woes

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Many of you already know I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. (40 pounds, 44 inches, and 6 dress sizes!) I’ve been working out really hard to get to the point I’m at, and I’m not at all unhappy with the results. My only gripe, however, is that I’ve been on a plateau since January. January! I’ve tried changing up what I eat, working out even harder, you name it. No luck.

So the gym I’ve been going to is an all-women’s gym. It worked great to get me to the point I’m at now, but not so much once I hit the plateau. You see, there are only 12 or 13 machines there. You work each machine for 30 seconds and then you jog (or whatever you want to do) for 30 seconds on a recovery pad stationed in between each machine. I worked out hard, so hard that sweat would spray off me and the machines would sometimes come off the ground with all the effort I put into it! But then I think my body got used to it. Since there was no variety at this gym, (no classes, no additional machines or anything), I hit a plateau that wouldn’t budge. I only need to lose about 10 more pounds and tone up, but I was having no luck.

So for months, I kept asking the owner what I should do and she would always respond that she was on a plateau too and she didn’t know what to tell me. I would tell her the things I was doing differently but that nothing seemed to be working. She told me to Google it. That really rubbed me the wrong way. SHE is the owner of a health club, not me. That’s what I pay her for, to help me with my questions. She should have all kinds of resources and reliable information since she’s the owner. Not everything on the Internet that you Google, however, is reliable and accurate.

So finally, after eight months of not getting any help from her, I told her I was becoming uphappy there. I told her that at over $40 a month, I had paid over $300 for nothing. You know what she said? She said, well at least you have your health. I responded that I could have my health by going to another gym for the same price with better hours, more machines, cardio equipment, pool, showers, the works. Heck, I could have my health by working out at home or taking walks- for free. She became irritated with me and once again told me to Google plateaus.

That’s not all she’s said that’s rubbed me the wrong way. Back in November of last year, my weight loss started slowing down. When we were doing my monthly weigh-and-measurement, I expressed that I was saddened by that. She told me that I didn’t need to lose any more weight and that I needed to slow down anyway. (I was only losing 4-6 pounds a month, so there I was perfectly within range of healthy weight loss.)

I have a problem with people telling me I don’t need to lose more weight when, in fact, I do. Ironically, the only people who have ever told me that I should be happy where I am at and should stop trying to lose more weight are overweight people. (The owner of the gym is about 100 pounds overweight.) People who are a healthy weight tell me that I could indeed use some toning up (and they are correct.) I’m not unhappy with where I am, but I know I could do better. Look, I get that many people are striving to be the size I am at right now. But this size I am is not my optimum. I’ve been at my optimum before and there is nothing wrong with me wanting to be there again, and I find it rude when someone says I should stop trying to be the best I can be just because it makes them feel bad that they can’t or won’t do it themselves. I’ve come such a long way. When I first started working out, I was obese (I had a BMI over 30.) I’ve put in so much effort and so much work to get to where I am- why in the hell would I stop now when I am so close to reaching my optimum?

Also for a number of weeks, I started developing severe abdominal muscle cramps while I was working out. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I tried talking to the owner about it and she said to drink more water while I was exercising. That made it worse. So when I told her it didn’t help, guess what she said? To Google it because she didn’t know. Nevermind that she’s a health club owner. So one day I mentioned it to one of my friends during a conversation and she said she knew exactly what was causing it. I was dehydrated. She suggested I drink a large glass of water 30 minutes before exercising and to frequently sip (not drink or guzzle) water while working out. It worked.

The owner also kept it really warm in there. The thermostat was in the back room, but all the machines were in a large front room that opened directly up to the outside. So in the summer, all the heat and humidity cascaded right into that front room. She had the thermostat set to 72, which is fine. But the front room where you actually exercise was a good 3-4 degrees warmer than the back room where the thermostat was located. And I am being generous when I say 3-4 degrees… it very well may have been even hotter. There were a few times that I got so overheated that I saw black spots and almost fainted. When I told the owner, she bumped the thermostat down to 71. Five minutes later, she asked me if I could feel a difference. When I said no, she replied that she was freezing and she then put on her jacket. I told her that she should come work out with me as hard as I do and she wouldn’t be cold anymore.

So anyway. About a month after I had mentioned to the owner that I didn’t like spending over $300 on nothing, and she still wasn’t helping me any, I went to the gym and told her that regrettably, I needed to cancel.

“Okay, that’s fine,” she said. She didn’t ask me why, didn’t ask me if there was anything she could do, didn’t try to keep me as a customer. Seriously, our tv satellite provider has better customer service than this lady. At least they try to work with us and figure out how they can help us so they don’t lose our business. So anyway, I said that it sucked that I had to cancel and she said, “Yeah it does but I’ll move on.” Well, allrighty then. That made me feel really unappreciated and unimportant and solidified that I was making the right decision.

The next day, I went in and asked her for a copy of my chart with all my measurements from the time I joined.

“Well, that’ll take a few days,” she told me.

“It’ll only take a minute,” I replied with a smile. She swiveled around her chair to face her computer.

“I don’t know where it is on the computer,” she complained.

“I can wait,” I responded. I watched as it took her a whole thirty seconds to pull it up and press the print button. When she handed it to me, I looked at it and noticed it didn’t have all the information I needed. And it was only from the last nine months instead of the whole time I’d been there.

“I need an actual copy of my chart,” I said.

“Well, I’ll have to find your chart. I put it away yesterday.”

“Oh you’ll find it,” I said with a smile and a nod.

“Well, its going to take a while,” she grumbled.

“I have time.” With a grunt, she slowly meandered to the side room, a whopping three feet from her desk. Less than thirty seconds later, she emerged with my chart. All my measurements were on two pages, so it was a cinch to copy. It took all of maybe two minutes to get it all done.

So all that just makes me glad I cancelled. I don’t want to give a passive aggressive person who doesn’t appreciate me, has little to no knowledge about fitness, and who is severely lacking in customer service skills my money. So I joined a nearby gym that has childcare, showers, a pool, treadmills and all the gym equipment, hot tub, sauna, etc. And its the same price I was paying at the other gym. I’ve been working out at the new place for about a week and have already lost a couple pounds.

I think this is a much better choice for me. At least there, the staff are trained, knowledgeable, and helpful. And the person I talked to at the new place regarding memberships told me that I all I needed to do was tone up (which, according to the previous gym’s owner, I shouldn’t even be doing that and should  just be happy where I’m at.) And the temperature is much cooler in the new gym. Now that is money well spent.

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Bouncing back

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Well, we are finally feeling back to our old selves since Nathan and I both came down with the flu. Nathan bounced back quicker than I did… It surprised me how long it took for me to start feeling better. I’m very healthy- I eat right, exercise 4x a week, and take care of myself, so you’d think I would have recuperated more quickly. I guess some sicknesses like some people more than others.

Speaking of being healthy, this is the first time in a looooooong time that I am actually looking forward to bathing suit season! I’ve lost so much weight. I’ve gone down SIX dress sizes and I look and FEEL better than I have in years! Once I have my official weigh-in at the gym, I’ll post my results. It’s been hard work; this weight loss is not something that just fell into my lap. I had to really work for it. People ask me all the time how I do it, and I can sum it all up in one powerful word: WILLPOWER. Seriously. I got to the point where I wasn’t going to take one more minute of one more day being overweight. I have a small frame, and my body is not made to carry around a bunch of extra weight. My bones and joints ached constantly from carrying all that weight around, and I decided to do something about it. I FORCED myself to do a lifestyle change. And then, those days of forcing myself to live differently turned into weeks, and those weeks into months, and what started out as me forcing myself to do something turned into a habit. That habit became easier over time, and now I look back at the sedentary lifestyle I was living, and the unhealthy eating habits I was indulging in, and I ask myself WHAT WAS I THINKING?

So now I am just mere pounds from reaching my weight-loss goal. I’ve surpassed my weight-loss goal size, so the numbers on the scale don’t really mean much to me. I’ve built up quite a bit of muscle, so I weigh more than other people who are my size. My abs are rockin’ … I totally have a “four-pack” going on!

I haven’t been to the gym in a while due to my shoulder problems and then getting sick, so I am looking forward to getting back in there and getting back on track. Life is good!

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Busy, busy weekend

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Well, you guys. I’ve officially lost a total of 34 pounds, 38 inches (from all over), and I have gone down 4 dress sizes! I’ve been working on building up my strength, and it’s paying off. Saturday, I did a bunch of yard work, shoveled a dirt for 3+ hours, hauled off logs and wood, and re-stacked a woodpile. All without being incapacitated with bodily pain the next day. Don’t get me wrong, I was bit sore, but it was very mild and hardly noticeable. It’s such a good feeling to be able to accomplish tasks like that… and even better to do a good job and know you did a good job.

I also did yard work last weekend, but that time, my legs were quite sore. Even though I was swinging an ax, sawing, and chopping things, nothing else on my body hurt except for the backs of my legs. It just goes to show that even when you go to the gym and work out really hard, manual labor still uses muscles that you may not be reaching at the gym.

See, I’ve been working out 4x a week since March. I also did a lifestyle change… greatly reduced the amount of processed foods I’ve been eating, incorporating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats into my diet, drinking a lot of water, and just being healthy in general. And it’s paying off. I’m losing 1-2 pounds a week, which doesn’t sound like much, but after a number of weeks and months, it adds up. And since I am losing it slowly, I will be less likely to gain it back, which is a problem I’ve had in the past. I’ve tried numerous fad diets (years ago), lost a decent amount of weight in a short amount of time, but I had a hard time keeping the weight off because I was doing it all wrong. It’s not a diet; it’s a lifetstyle. And I love it! I feel great, look great, and have tons of energy, which is a big difference from this time last year. I’m not as focused on losing weight now, though. If I lose more, that’s fine, but I’m more focused on toning up at this point.

So yeah, that was my Saturday. Sunday was nice and relaxing… Paul’s parents came over early Sunday morning to watch Nathan while Paul and I went to church. Since he’s been sick with back-go-back illnesses (with a cold that turned into a respiratory infection, and then that nasty virus he had), we decided to keep him out of the nursery so he could enjoy being well for a bit longer. It was nice not having to hurry to the nursery to drop him off, and Paul and I enjoyed a nice breakfast together after the service. It’s been a long time since we’ve gone out to eat, just the two of us, and we enjoyed not having to worry about keeping our little guy happily entertained, cutting up his food, preventing him from launching said food in all directions, and all the other things that come with having your child with you in a restaurant.

Sometimes it’s nice just to have some time to yourselves. It doesn’t mean you love your kid any less, though. We all need a break sometimes!

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