Progress: Noticing a Difference

measuring resultsI’ve done a few posts about exercise over the past year, and if you’ve been around awhile, you know it’s a relatively new concept for me.  For most of my life, my high metabolism has carried me through, and I haven’t been too worried about what I eat, or my weight in general.  Around the time of the breakup of my marriage, I was at my heaviest, and lost a lot that summer and fall, getting back to my more normal weight range.  And then about a year ago, I started to notice the cellulite and flab creeping in, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t so happy with what I saw in the mirror.  Last winter, I bought some weights and a bike trainer so I could ride my own bike (which I love!) indoors.  I also started breaking out the yoga mat again on a semi-regular basis.  And it lasted awhile, but I didn’t really see results, so I slacked off and got out of the routine.  This past fall, I wrote about needing to get back into some kind of routine, because I was shocked at weighing in at the doctor’s and finding I was 15 pounds over my normal weight – yikes!  And then I came up with a plan.  And when that wasn’t quite working, I adjusted it a bit.  I struggled with it.  I really, really struggled with it, and I felt like I was failing.

And then in March, something clicked.  I started sticking to my plan.  The thing I thought I’d never do, get up early to workout, started working for me.  I found I wasn’t tired, I was very willing to get up and get on the bike, and just ride.  It was another opportunity for some alone time, and to process thoughts, so it wasn’t a crazy, chicken-with-its-head-cut-off kind of all-at-once start to my day.  And I coupled it with some targeted, low-impact exercises found on Pinterest a few minutes before bedtime.

And then…  I actually upped it.  I was riding the bike 3 times a week, and I bumped it up to 5 days a week (although sometimes I take a day off to do a 20 minute yoga routine instead).  And I started doing the night-time exercises every night.  And I added another routine found on Pinterest, and some sumo squats.  Not a ton, but enough to burn.  And I kept upping my resistance on the bike, making sure I was still sweating by the time I was done.

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve gotten a few updates, which I promised, and which helps keep me accountable, and since the beginning of March, I’ve lost two inches on my hips!  And I woke up yesterday, and I couldn’t see my saddlebags anymore.  And that inner-thigh fat?  It’s fading.  They say it takes four weeks for you to notice the changes, and 8 weeks for close friends and family.  It’ll be interesting to see what The Man says when he comes to visit this week.

All I know is, for the first time in my life, I am enjoying working out, and I’m seeing results. 😀

Does Anyone Else Cry When They Workout?

I’ve been working out a little bit, as you probably know, and I’ve been waking up early to ride the bike a couple of times a week.  I really, truly thought this would be hard to do, but to tell you the truth, I kind of look forward to it now.  I put on the noise canceling headphones, turn on some perfectly-timed music on my phone (thanks to the fantastic app “Cadence“), and ride for 20 minutes.  I can sometimes catch up on emails and facebook, but mostly, I listen to the music.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have always been a sucker for a good turn of lyric.  Lyrics are poetry to me.  If you don’t write well, I probably don’t listen to you (unless your song has an earworm-worthy beat and is inescapable in society).  Suffice it to say, even the music that has a tempo of 135 (my setting for my morning rides) on my phone have meaningful lyrics.

And I’ve been listening.  And crying.

What the-?

I don’t know if I’m more emotional because I’ve just woken up, or it’s because I am completely alone, or what, but something has been triggering these tears.  They aren’t always sad tears, either.  Just emotional.  And before you ask if it has anything to do with my cycle, please realize I would have figured that out by now if it did.

Nope.  I think this is not only a workout, but a cathartic release of stress, and I don’t mind it.  I feel more in tune to my big picture starting my day this way, bike facing my mantel, and the myriad pictures of the most important people in my life.  Reminding me why I’m riding, and more philosophically, where I’m headed.

Looking Ahead

I’m Failing at Exercise

I’m failing.  I am not exercising.  I hopped on the bike for 20 minutes last weekend, and was fine until Tuesday, when my right thigh was so sore, it felt like I couldn’t use it properly.  Which meant I had to rest it, and not do any exercise (right?).  Plus Monday and Tuesday were both extremely long days, with nary an hour in which to work out until 9:30pm.  So it wasn’t really my fault.  And then it was the end of the marking period, and I had stuff to do.  See all the excuses I can come up with?

And I have, and Ack!  I’m failing, and I hate it.  Failing and I just don’t jive.  Plus this added weight on my hips and thighs is making things not fit, and if we end up getting married this summer I will never find a dress that is two sizes bigger on the bottom than on the top, and my knees hurt more and I need to lose this extra weight!!!

Ugh.

I have figured out that I cannot commit to working out everyday.  It is unrealistic and it just won’t happen.  So while I love slimkicker (remember slimkicker?) I just can’t do a challenge which includes doing something daily.  Lesson learned.  Check!

I have also figured out that I have come to depend on Time Out (remember Time Out?) because I turned it off awhile ago, and have spent way too many hours (upon hours) at the computer in the last few weeks.  Turn it back on.  Check!

rest stop

Finally, I need to get back into my get work done, reward with fun stuff routine (remember the Pomodoro technique?).  It has been all fun stuff, leading to my big fat…  Well, you get the picture.  Get it done.  Check!

These are my goals.  To get back on track with these things. Anybody else hitting a wall?  I’m ready to get over it.

Weighty Issue

I went to the doctor today and had the requisite “weigh-in”, and I’m about 15 pounds over my normal weight.  That’s what I get for not owning a scale, I guess.  And so I started mulling over this whole increased-cellulite/Holy-crap-I-haven’t-been-this-heavy-since-right-nefore-my-divorce/hate-to-workout … Continue reading

Body Image, Cellulite, and The Man’s Perspective

Scale

Scale (Photo credit: vividBreeze)

I’m getting older.  I know this not because I actually know how old I am in years – I am already to that point where I don’t consciously think about how many years I have been alive and often have to do the math to figure out the correct number.  I know this because I had to go buy a new pair of pants the other day because I needed a bigger size.  And when I looked in the mirror (something I don’t have in my room, nor do I own a scale) I saw the cellulite I have seen making its way into the limelight over the past year.  I saw it plain as day, and I was, for the first time since middle school, a bit ashamed of my body.

Middle school was a rough time (wasn’t it for everyone?).  I am still in middle school, as a teacher, and I know intimately that no one wants to relive it.  As a student, I struggled with how others viewed me as much as the next kid, if not more.  I look back remembering the whole time period as angst-ridden about my appearance, when in actuality, there were maybe three incidents that were burned into my memory, forever tarnishing the whole experience.  Magically, I turned a corner in high school and never looked back, consciously deciding not to give a rip about what anyone thought about how I looked.  That is not to say that I did not care about my appearance, but I didn’t ever dress or do anything else to my body to please anyone besides myself.

Until now.  Here I am, for the first time since then, looking at my own body with self-doubt, wondering how long The Man will find me attractive, and if I will continue to gain weight, getting fatter and fatter… Part of my problem is that I never had a weight problem, and never worked out.  Why would I if I didn’t need to?  Don’t hate, please, if you have struggled with weight.  Just like we shouldn’t scorn those who are heavier than us, we also shouldn’t scorn those who are thinner than us.  I had nothing to do with it, it was just how it was.  And now that I really could use the exercise, it is a foreign concept to me, and it has been hard to incorporate into my already hectic schedule.  Something else will have to go if I am to add regular exercise to my schedule, and I’m not sure what I can afford to leave behind to make room.  It won’t be sleep.  That I can tell you for sure.  I will not be waking up earlier than I do, nor will I be staying up later.  Something else will have to give.

In any case, The Man reassures me that I have nothing to fear in regard to whether or not he still finds me attractive.  According to him, while a woman is running through a litany of things in her mind that her man might not find attractive (Can he see the cellulite on my thighs? How about the hair growing out of that mole?  My cuticles in need of a manicure?  That pimple on my nose? My split ends?)  The man looks at her and thinks, “Wow!  I get to touch her boobies!”

Ha!

Take that, cellulite!