Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When the weight creeps on...'s easy not to notice 5, 10 or even 15 pounds just from how your body feels. But last weekend I had an experience that reminded me how much pounds really WEIGH:

We went with PD2 and her two daughters to a great place that rescues abused farm animals. The kids loved it and so did I. To get from one of the areas to another there was a long series of very shallow steps. The first time I went up, no problem. Not out of breath, no knee pain, etc. Later, I was carrying Bon Bon (now 3) and she probably weighs around 25 pounds or so. Holy cow, how that made a difference climbing those very same steps. She feels light to me when I pick her up (for a while), but that extra poundage really made me have to work a LOT harder.

This experience made me think how much harder my body is working carrying 10-15 extra pounds on it...a very good thing for me to be confronted with.

I have lost a few pounds, but it's not falling off me this time. I am doing well at the gym and am really liking my trainer...even though she makes me sore! ;-) My body is already feeling much more toned and strong and I like that.

Tomorrow night we are having a big party for DB's birthday (and mine too 'cause we will be out of town on my actual b-day next week). DB has taken over a local bar/performance place for the night and all his friends are playing gigs (including two bands he is playing in). I baked two carrot cakes last night. It should be fun -- DB is SO looking forward to it!

Work is still super-stressful and my life seems to be scheduled down to the nanosecond...I'm glad that one of those scheduled things is gym/yoga. And I really REALLY need our ski vacation next week... :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Part of my intake process at the new gym was filling out a pretty extensive questionnaire about goals, lifestyle, etc. I didn't take it too seriously at the time but there was a list of things you want to improve and you were supposed to rank them in order of importance. I made almost all of them equal (lose weight, get fitter, tone, relieve stress, etc.). But, as I reflected over the past week, the truth is that what I really want is to feel fit again.

The scale IS important to me. It is an outside objective observer. Only it's not really. At my new gym, there are women who I am sure weigh a lot more than me...but they are large and HARD. They are hugely muscley and probably what everyone would call FIT. Now, being at THE muscle-builder gym of the universe, they are NOT what I am working toward. But they do show me that the scale, while VERY important, is not ALL.

Maybe I'm just saying all this to myself to make myself feel better that, while I've had little 2-pound-down fluctuations, the scale goes back up and I have not lost any weight since starting to work out again almost two weeks ago. I am still perplexed by this - how can I be working out SO much more, eating the same and having the scale stay the same? I don't know.

What I do know, though, is that I want to keep working toward FIT. I remember feeling STRONG in my body. I want to feel that way again...whatever the scale says. trainer kicked my butt tonight...almost literally!! I have never worked with a trainer before...because, as I said before, I wanted to WORK while at the gym, not chat. Well, my friends, tonight my little 2% body weight trainer showed me that you can talk AND work HARD. There got to be a point where I literally couldn't lift my leg. The things we did were simple, but (I hope) effective. She gets it that my weight goes in my middle -- from upper leg through lower belly. I don't gain substantially elsewhere. So we worked that area...a LOT. I think I will be good-sore tomorrow. While we did work legs, my knees tonight are feeling ok. Hopefully the quad work helped and didn't hurt.

But there is another little story as I chatted with my trainer -- this girl has won competitions for fitness -- she told me that, if she doesn't wake up sore, she wonders what she did wrong the previous day. Yes, you know what's next. She's into addictive exercise behavior. She told me tonight she's ready to be a mom...I wonder how she will handle those body changes. She is really a sweetheart and I will learn stuff from her, but I do worry about that. She looks great and is fit but she is as weird about her body (in another way) as We are.

I'm excited about a new exercise adventure. And I just want to be FIT, dammit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another new gym relationship

I joined tonight. I am kinda in love. I know this feeling and it is totally like falling in love...and not being sure if he/it is the right one...exciting, but hopeful.

I did the 4-session trainer join-up thing. I ran into "my" trainer tonight and she gave me a big hug. We have scheduled our first 2 sessions for this Thursday night and next Monday. I am excited to learn what she can teach me...and I know I will have to teach her some stuff about my challenges too. ;-)

Of course, the "salesman" (who was not the one I had talked with before), tried to get me to agree to their "usual" three trainer sessions for $195, but I stood my ground: the other guy promised me 4 for that price AND I had talked with this SAME GUY at lunchtime today to make sure the deal was the same. Shady. Just be sure to READ WHAT YOU SIGN. I got the 4 sessions. :-)

After I signed up, I did the elliptical for 11 minutes (lucky number) to warm up. Then did an hour yoga class that I am still, an hour later, wet with sweat from (yes, I'd better get to a shower soon!). Gym Yoga is not Studio Yoga. But I can live with it. It's cheaper and I have less expectations. And it's STILL YOGA. Tonight's class was more vinyasa-y, but not bad except for a lot of repetitive knee motions which I just didn't do. I am very good at taking care of myself in yoga because of my training. Not so much with other forms of exercise, but I'm trying.

Ski Weekend was great!! I remember how!! I skied the intermediate runs (well, not all of the ones I could do at the end of last season...from fear...but I can still ski the harder runs!!) We took it pretty more than 3 hours per day. DB was totally sore, but I (thanks to workouts the prior week, I AM SURE) only felt good-sore in my quads. Yay!! I worked my legs and core and THAT IS WHAT I NEED MOST. And it's FUN (and scary sometimes). Oh yeah, and romantic with DB up there in those mountains and snow and hot tubs. ;-)

We are JAMMED with plans until we leave for week-long birthday ski vacation on January 29. I am VERY VERY VERY stressed at work right now. I need my exercise for balance. I will hang onto that.

And now I need a shower.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More on exercise importance

First of all, I think Vickie's comment was right -- somehow my body was "holding" while it healed from hard work-outs/ouchy knee. Today I am not sore, knee is much better and the scale finally moved down! Whew.

From my workouts, I feel my core strength coming back. When that happens, I feel so much better in every way...something about feeling my muscles (and seeing them -- my arms look great today) makes me feel strong and not just physically. I noticed that feeling this morning as I drove to work, working my abs...

I have decided to join the gym. It doesn't require a long-term commitment -- I can terminate at any time. I have two options:

- pay $29.99 every two weeks; or
- pay $195 for 4 hour-long trainer sessions, then $19.99 every two weeks.

I have decided that the second option is best so am going to sign up next Tuesday when I'm back from skiing. Even though the trainer session the other night was not spectacular, I did learn things, I do like the trainer, and I've already started teaching her what works for me and what doesn't. ;-) I think I'll do one training session a week for four weeks, do at least one yoga a week and do one other day (at least) at the gym.

For cardio (other than cardio from weights, floor work with trainer, yoga), I will probably do elliptical. That is my it a lot more than a bike or treadmill. (In SoCal, I have found almost no gyms have pools, go figure! When I used to do aquaerobics, I went to the Y and they are almost the only "gyms" that have pools.) I might try spinning...trainer is also spinning teacher...she says you don't have to stand up and I can cycle sitting down because that doesn't put too much pressure on my knees.

This gym has EVERY machine you could ever want. It is THE bodybuilder gym of the world...I have never seen so many ENORMOUS muscles in one wouldn't believe some of the women!!

We're off for first ski weekend of the year tonight...I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trainer appointment

Although my right knee was (and is) still totally swollen from the Zumba fiasco, I kept my appointment with the trainer at the gym last night. She was a sweetheart and I actually learned some stuff from her (floor work, ball work, glute and rowing machines), but:

- She seriously was clueless about people with injuries/challenges. I had to keep telling her I couldn't do repetitive up-and-down motion with my knees in their current state (or ever, really). She kept looking at me like "huh?".
- I am not a trainer person. I want to WORK at the gym, not chat. I could have gotten what we did in an hour and a half done in an hour without the chit-chat.

I am still pretty irritated that the guy "selling" me the membership (which I haven't bought yet, didn't hear a red flag when I mentioned "Zumba" and "bad knees" in the same conversation. I think I'll talk with him about that when I join. Yes, while not perfect, I think I'll join the gym. There are class options that I MIGHT be able to do in addition to yoga and it's always good to have a place where you can go to work on cardio and weights.

Frustration over my weight is really getting me down. I haven't changed anything about my eating in the past week and have worked out 3 times HARD and I weigh almost 4 pounds more than I did last week. Seriously? I am puzzled and frustrated and starting to really get depressed about this. I am not perfect with food and drink (need to drink less champagne and more water, mostly), but I am good and very consistent. I really cannot believe that I can't lose weight eating the way I am and working out. It's weird and very upsetting.

And I can't wear my smallest (and favorite) ski pants this weekend. I'll have to lose 10 pounds for that to happen. At least I have some others, but... :-(

Monday, January 10, 2011


Well, THAT's something I'm never going to try again! :-(

At least at this gym, Zumba class was literally CONSTANT impact. I can certainly see how it would be fun for many people but, with my knees, I was terrified the entire time. I slid out of the room about 3/4 through the class...and I hope that, even though I didn't do almost any of the impact (jumping jumping and more jumping), I didn't hurt myself.

I am a person who is very aware of my physical limitations and can usually adjust to compensate and not hurt myself. For the life of me, I have no idea how I could do that with Zumba. It's ALL impact. Reminded me of an old-fashioned aerobics class. Yuck. And I love dancing and can usually do it without hurting myself.

Good things:

- Even avoiding impact as much as I could, I got some good cardio exercise and got very sweaty.
- I am so scared that I hurt my knees that I am not hungry for dinner.

I'm very disappointed. But I still will probably join this gym to be able to take the occasional yoga class and use the machines. Hopefully the trainer I am meeting with tomorrow night will have some good ideas about how to strengthen my knees, not damage them further.

DB is out of town on business this week, so I'm focusing almost entirely on getting my exercise back in gear. (NOT that it's his fault in any way that I'm not in gear.) I may even get up and do the 6:45 am yoga class on Thursday... ;-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The "new " gym

Yes, I did go check it out on Thursday night, got my 7-day free pass and took my first class yesterday! :-)

The gym is huge...looks like little to no line for cardio machines (a huge plus in L.A....I hate wasting time waiting for machines). I actually will probably use the machines only a little since I'm looking at this place for mostly classes but who knows? Machines are a great option to have when you can't make a particular class at a particular time.

Yesterday I planned to check out their yoga class. Walked over to the gym (about a mile from our house) and arrived in plenty of time. The class was full, but not crowded. At first, I wasn't sure about the teacher -- he was a little too into making funny voices and this is a GYM (a serious body-builder's gym), not a yoga studio, so i was feeling that he was catering to the body-builder/non-yogis in the class. However, as class went on (it was an hour and a half which was 15 mins more than it was scheduled for...which was fine with me!), I kinda loved it. It was a straight ahead old-fashioned hatha yoga class. In L.A., many (if not most) classes tend to be "flow" type...students seem more worried about what they perceive to be cardio exercise than in what I would call real YOGA.

The weirdest thing with this class was that it ended with NO savasana (final resting pose). I have never had a yoga class in my life that didn't have savasana. Maybe it was just a one-time thing, or maybe it was the gym-not-yoga-studio atmosphere.

I ended up really liking the teacher -- he was older and was really good at adjusting and teaching in general. It always bothered me at my last yoga studio that the teacher didn't really adjust students during the class. Being able to do that is a huge part (in my opinion) of being an effective yoga teacher -- you have to SEE the individual student and be able to communicate how they can improve/get more out of their practice. I do think this teacher has the potential to be that kind of teacher for me.

But, it's just the first class and the only other classes this teacher teaches that I could attend are at 6:45 AM two days a week. Oy. I am not a morning exerciser and this would mean getting up REALLY early and changing my whole morning and showering routine. But I might do it...we'll see.

I don't love practicing yoga in a room with mirrors, but yesterday I actually was able to use them to my benefit without being too judgmental on myself. And this room is fairly quiet for a gym...and it has a water fountain IN the room which I find to be really great...particularly if you sweat like I do (my hair was sopping wet at the end of class yesterday!).

Today my body is sore all over...not in a bad way, but in a "well, it's been a while, Helen" way. ;-) It's good to feel my muscles again.

Tomorrow night, I'll try the Zumba class (will have to leave work early and JAM to make it, but this is the big thing I want to try at this gym). Tuesday night I have a free appointment with a trainer to learn some of the machines, then will take the evening yoga class (different teacher).

This afternoon we are doing Xmas/birthday with some of the kids and grandkids...I'm really looking forward to it even though we're meeting at a Chuck-E-Cheese. ;-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


(Copied from comment to Laura:) Like I've said before, I really really think that, for me, it's lack of exercise that starts the spiral into food. So today I went on-line and found a gym that offers yoga and Zumba (yay!) that is close to me. I am going over there tomorrow night to check it out, then am doing the 7-day free trial they have. Assuming I like it, I'm getting back on that exercise horse. I miss it. But somehow it's so hard to make myself take the time to DO IT. Grrrrr.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Yeah, well, when I'm not posting, it's often because I am so bogged down in "life" and that is YES when weight problems arise. I have now officially gained back 15 pounds of what I lost last year and I feel like crap. I got to the point over the holidays when I had the "who cares?" attitude...and THAT is death to good eating.

So, yesterday, after pizza and birthday cake at Bon-Bon's third birthday party, I told DB that I am back on the SERIOUS program starting today. Not only are my skinny clothes not fitting (I haven't been brave enough to try them in over a month), I am afraid to ski next week with an additional 15 pounds on my body. And my new ski pants from last year most certainly won't fit.

I attribute most of this gain to my absolute total lack of real exercise for the past six months. I have a lot of excuses...starting with not feeling well really since August. It has been hard for me to contemplate exercise when that makes me cough. Then, just when the coughing was down to only early mornings, I got a cold the week before Christmas and it still hasn't gone away. It is draining me. Finally, I had the D&C and polypectomy on Thursday. The general anesthesia seemed to quiet the cold for that whole day and I was so excited...then the congestion and coughing came back on Friday. I have slept innumerable hours the past few days and am so tired still today...I could go home and go to sleep with no problem (and I am NOT a napper). I'm back to close to where I was two years ago. Not happy, but armed with tools to fix this problem. I want to lose 20 pounds and stay there. I won't be skinny, but I will be healthy and comfortable in my body.

And now to catch up on micro-blogs from FB:

December 28: San Sai spicy sashimi salad just made me a whole lot happy.
December 31: ‎40 fingers and toes up for Exit Through The Gift Shop!
January 1: We just watched a half hour ad for a Time Life compilation of 70s music. And I really enjoyed singing along.
January 2: Happy Birthday, [Bon-Bon]!! So happy you were born three years ago today. I love you. :-)
January 2: Finally cooking the Christmas ham ... not that we need any more food...

And above is us on New Year's Eve...Happy New Year to all!!