Thursday, 22 October 2009

Breasts: excellent. Hips: Not so good.

Despite the fact that she has no arms, a time-worn nose and various contusions, including what seem to be simultaneous attempts at garrotting and decapitation, I yearn to look like this woman.

Since my return to Scotland I have begun a journey to getting fit. This was triggered by being back in my parents’ house and my reaction to the overwhelming presence of food. It suddenly all became very clear to me just how my personal eating habits came to be formed.

Treating this realization as the exposed root of a life-long neuroses, and combining this with another family trait of supplying a good idea with as much enthusiasm as possible, I subsequently hurled myself into an intense fitness regime almost as soon as I landed.

I bought new shoes, a heart monitor, and the sports bra of all sports bras. It is red and is marked for “very high intensity.” This bra is so intimidating that I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying it on in the changing room at Marks and Spencer. In this bra my breasts look like huge alien sausages. I showed it to John at the first opportunity.

I wanted to sweat. I wanted to get strong. I wanted to shed all the fear I wear in layers over my skeleton. I wanted results. But Of course, I have hurt myself.

Within a week of jumping, squatting, lunging (**side note. In the editing of this post I realized that I had written “lunching” instead of lunging. Freud, is that you?) and heaving my way through the various motions of a home DVD nightmare called Insanity, the pain in my right hip, which is connected to a half-moon of tension that cups around my tailbone, became unbearable. I ended up at an Osteopath having my back snapped back into place and the knots massaged out of my muscles.

It has been a week off and I’m still in pain and am feeling deeply frustrated. My attempts to massage myself last night (I can’t afford to keep going to the Osteopath) has left me with a lovely low-slung belt of bruises around my tail bone and hips. I should also mention that in the week that I was walking to and from work (40 minutes each way) and working out for an hour in the evenings, I managed to gain a pound and lose not one inch.

So instead of feeling like the graceful (albeit in a crumbly sort of way) creature above, I feel rather like this:

FOD. How I wear this sentiment like a cloak made of meat.

Still, I am attempting to regroup. I am abandoning any hope of continuing with Insanity (really, the hint is in the name, woman!) and will shortly be starting another, more reserved 90-day programme.

I am trying. But it is hard and I feel a bit stupid.


ellen abbott said...

I appreciate your desires but the thing is to start slow and work up to insanity, not just dive right in! I went to the gym today myself for the first time in about two weeks. It's amazing how fast you lose it. I plan to go again tomorrow and up the ante a bit after my re-introduction today.

Dale said...

Oh, do keep massaging yourself though, and don't let the bruises deter you! they just mean you were going at it a bit too hard. Which you seem maybe to have a bit of a tendency to do :-)

Give yourself some good rest, and make sure you have those trigger points worked out before you start training again -- they go latent, and the pain goes away, but they're right there waiting to snap back into it for at least a couple more days, after it stops hurting. The biggest mistake most people make is starting training again before they've really recovered. Remember: if you hurt yourself again, you're looking at two more weeks sidelined before you can start again.

And when you do start over, don't reach for a new height every day. If you reach one day, back off to comfortable the next. (Or do nothing at all! Rest is good too.)


naldo said...

Aye, ditto the comments fae Ellen and Dale.

I've been gently aiming for my goal of running 8 miles in an hour all through the summer. It definitely pays dividends to take it easy and build up slowly. Currently out of running action with a knee twist. I really miss it and hope to recover enough to take it back up next week.

If you can hack it, swimming is a great exercise cos it's very low impact and really works out the heart, lungs and muscles. It's no for everyone though.

Cycling's no bad anaw and there are some great cycle paths around Embra which help get you fit, lead to unusual locations and keep you safe from nasty traffic.

Go, girl! (Just go easy at first.)

sylvia murphy said...

Ditto to everthing above. Since I have been a fitness instructor for 7 years or more I can't help myself and will give more unsolicited advice:

a) Fitness is relative and target. Fit to climb mountains, fit to run a marathon, fit to stay healthy etc are all different fits and they have very different training regiments. You need to decide what you want to do with this new body of yours.

b) Not every exercise is appropriate for every person. I just had a flight surgeon tell me my running days are over. Fortunately, hiking is my true passion. Find what you like. Do you want to do something solo, work with others, fast paced, slow paced etc. They all work

c) Vary your routine and please start more slowly next time. If you are like most people who don't move much, rigor mortis has probably set in and limbering up will take time. Add stretching to your routine. Beginning yoga is great.

d) Realize that exercise along may not help. If you were already spending a couple of hours a day walking, you were getting exercise. Examine your diet. Are there any substitutions you can make e.g. 2% milk for whole milk. Try adding one change every other week. Go slow there too. This is a lifestyle change. The same surgeon who told me to stop running said that to get rid of the middle aged Buddha (belly) one needs to jolt the metabolism all day. Here is what he recommended:

* 8 hours of sleep
* Drink water all day long
* Add weight lifting to your routine (you be CAREFUL there)
* Try to eat 6 smaller meals a day vice 3.

I could go on and on. Just realize that once you are hooked on fitness it will follow you the rest of your life. Also realize that you did not get the way you currently are in a day, so be patient with yourself!

Good luck!

PurestGreen said...

Thank you, you wonderful people for your great advice and support. The back is feeling much better and I shall continue to work at it. Cyber hugs for all. Just don't squeeze me too hard. :)

Tammie Lee said...

ah, I am sorry you hurt yourself! I always noted that I had more pain while working out than when not! But I always like some sort of exercise in my life mixed with a healthy diet. These days yoga and walking are my choice. Sending you healing vibes. May your next choices bring you success.

Anonymous said...

some great advice here b.
looking forward to seeing you pump some serious iron using those newly acquired dumbells.

Marcheline said...

Hey Girl -

If you've been peeking at my blog, you know that I have started down the same road recently as well.

My two cents: Start with the South Beach Diet first, and once you've lost enough weight so that your body can move around without injuring itself, THEN start the workouts.

Honestly, just working out is never going to get you where you want to go. You need to teach your body how to eat and how to use what you eat, restructure your chemical balance, and lose the fat that gets in the way of free motion.

Once you've lost some weight, you won't be stressing your joints and tendons so much, and the whole workout thing will go forward instead of stalling.


Michael said...

Ah damn, there has to be a better way. I went to a workshop yesterday. The coffee table was loaded with sweets: muffins, cookies, prairie squares, and nothing healthy. I could have brought my own food. Didn't. I could have skipped the sweets. Didn't. Didn't. Didn't. Then I criticized myself for being weak-willed. Low self-esteem begets more. I think I know what the problem is, but I don't know how to address it.