The Better Me: Payback

Well, since I’ve been totally lacking on working out, it came back to bite me and I worked out twice today, haha.

I have a friend who is starting to teach Zumba classes. She came over today to go over everything with me before her first class tomorrow, and that way at least one person [me] will have an idea of what’s going on. If you read this, Jesse, you did an awesome job coming up choreography! =D

So we did that, it was a blast. Exhausting, but a blast! And then shortly after, my roommate is like, “Let’s do my abs of steel video!” so guess what we did? Abs of steel!

I think I’m just gonna change up my workouts. Instead of the elliptical, I think I’m just gonna lift weights at the gym and then do some of the abs video every morning, and then do the Zumba class twice a week. I think it’ll be easier on my hip. Still low impact, but not so repetitive. And I’ll get my cardio. So fingers crossed!

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Miscellaneous Anectdotes: In a Funk

I’ve been so blah. I’m so blah that I don’t even want to write this. So a few quick notes.

I haven’t slept well in what feels like forever, and my hip and back have been absolutely killing me, so I haven’t been working out. At all. I am going to my friend’s Zumba class tomorrow night though.

I haven’t been eating well either. Actually, I’ve been eating very poorly. It’s tied in with the “blah,” I’m just not motivated. I’m not motivated to begin with, so now I’m EXTRA unmotivated.

My cat is sitting in my lap right now and he’s very in the way. Hmph.

I made an expense sheet on Excel today, it was awfully exciting. Hopefully it’ll keep track of my money a little better. It’ll be great.

I think… I’m out of blabber. I’d like to make some hash browns but that would involve getting off the couch. *pout*

The Better Me: Resistance

The novelty of working out is long gone. I’m over it. But so help me, I’m still going!

I skipped Monday, but for good reason. I was working until after midnight Sunday night, I did not want to get up at 6 to work out when I could sleep until 7. But I did drag myself out of bed Tuesday, and I did go this morning.

I’ve increased some of my weight reps, but not by too much. I’m doing five reps of five at 2 lbs. I’ve gone up to 3 lbs on the easier ones, but I don’t want to get much heavier than that. I want to tone up, I don’t want to get bulky. I also read a bit of the big poster on the wall that explains the multi-station gym thing and what all I can do. I don’t really have time on work days, but on my days off, I’m going to start doing a little more for my thighs.

Although I tell ya, the elliptical isn’t always easy! I’ve worked the resistance up to 7 [I started at 5] and the top of my thighs sure burn! I’ve also found that letting go of the handles changes the way I move so it’s a little different of a workout. It took me a while to get the balance right [my screwed up hip makes my gait uneven] but now I do two minutes holding, two minutes not. It also makes the time go by faster, I can break it down in increments of 2 and it just helps.

My roommate [who is also working out] just bought some 90’s workout tapes from the pawn shop [$.43 for four VHS tapes, haha] and we did one of those Monday night. We only got about half way through, it was intense and we were confused with some of the steps. But we’ll get used to it. The idea is to do aerobics and abs at home, and everything else at the gym. We aren’t about to lay on the nasty gym floor!

My mom says that 28 days in a row make a habit. Well, I’m only 6 days in, but I’m getting there! Slowly but surely!

The Better Me: 140

I said this working out thing wasn’t about the numbers, but I’m still going to keep track and I’m still going to take a little pride in the numbers decreasing. I stepped on the scale yesterday and weighed 140. I’m happy with 140. It’s a good number. When I was getting closer to 160 I was concerned. But I can do 140. 130 would be great though. In high school, I weighed 125 when I was doing step aerobics. I don’t think I can, or want to get that low again. By some grace of god, I’ve managed to score a nice rack and a nice ass. Crude, but quite frankly, it’s awesome. I love my boobs. I don’t want to lose them.

But enough about boobs. I worked out again this morning. 20 minutes on the elliptical was a little easier this time. Got my heart rate up to about 130 but stayed around 100. My heart rate, my breathing rate, have always seemed to be lower than average. So when I’m pumping my little legs furiously and the damn machine tells me I need to get my heart rate up to 160 for a good cardio workout, I think to myself “you’ve got to be kidding me.” It was a struggle just to get up to the 130. I’ll have to do some research. I feel like a lower heart and breath rate are a sign of relaxation, but who knows, maybe this is a bad thing.

I have very little knowledge of the human body. What muscles are called, what they do, how they work, how much protein or carbs or fat your body needs or doesn’t need to accomplish what you’re trying to do. I should probably look into that. Like, do you eat before or after you exercise? Or both?

Anyways. Moving on. 20 minutes on the machine from hell, as it’s becoming to me, I spent some time on the weight machines. Now I don’t know what the machines are called, or even what the particular muscle it is they were working, but I worked on my arms. Now, I’m a weakling and also a baby, so try not to laugh. I kept the weights at 2 lbs. More than that was a struggle. So I’m going to embrace my weakness and start small. I’ll push myself, I’ll work up. Without someone there to direct me, I have to wing it. So I used each machine twice. Started at one, did 2, counted to 10, then 2 more. I did this five times on the harder machines. On the easier machines, I did 2 and counted to 5. My second round through them all, I counted to 5 on the harder machines and on the easier ones, did 5 and counted to five. It seemed to work out well. I would feel my muscles start to shake or give out, and still had a “set” or two left. I pushed, but not too hard. It felt like just enough.

Now what I need is a core workout I can do at home. There’s no way I’m laying down on the nasty public floor and there aren’t enough ab workouts I can do standing up. I’m sure I can find something cheap on Amazon. Or even an old VHS at a pawn shop, because yes, I still have a VCR. I know I’m awesome. Be jealous.

Now it’s time to shower and get ready for the day. I ate my delicious egg and toast breakfast, and I need to go grocery shopping. My current list, which I probably can’t afford to get it all, is as follows;

Bread
Onions
Potatoes
Granola or power bars
Ground beef
Bacon [because you always need bacon]
Eggs

I need to start making food. I’ve been good so far, but it’s only been a whopping two days. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to shake that tower.

Miscellaneous Anecdotes: The Better Me

I’ve decided to be better.

So I’ve started Operation Improve. I went to Planned Parenthood to get back on Yaz for my PMDD. It’ll take another two months for the Take Charge program to step in and cover it, but it’s in the works.

I’m also going to start making an effort to eat better. Mainly, that just means cooking as opposed to “easy dinners.” The other day, I made biscuits and gravy for dinner. It was delicious. Last night, I made spaghetti. Easy things, but it’s better than microwave burritos and Mac N Cheese. This morning, instead of my usual toast with PB&J, I put an over-easy egg on a piece of buttered toast. Now that may not be a better breakfast, but it feels like a better breakfast.

I’m also going to do my best to avoid gorging myself. It’ll be smaller meals from now on. Probably still more than a serving, but not two or three servings.

This morning, I utilized the free gym at the apartment complex. I got up at six and walked over to the creepy little gym. I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical at level 5 resistance. Got my heart rate up to about 110. I’m going to keep track of that, and slowly start working my way up to a more difficult resistance. Then maybe I can go for longer. I kept a steady pace throughout the whole thing, but I did push really hard the last minute. I can start increasing the push time too, to the last two minutes, three minutes, etc etc.

I’ve worked out before, back in my aerobics class in high school. I can’t tell you how incredible I felt doing that. I want to get that back. This isn’t about how big I am, how much I weigh, how thick my thighs are [although decreasing the numbers wouldn’t hurt my feelings], it’s about how I feel.

I am over feeling crummy. I know I have things that stack up against me. My PMDD is a big one. Don’t know what that is? Look it up. It sucks. I am tired of feeling depressed three weeks out of four, of being utterly exhausted all the time, and I hate being so crabby. The medication will help, but the exercise and better diet won’t hurt.

And for the part of me that’s a little bit vain, I want to get my hair done. I’ll probably pass on a manicure, but I think I’ll get a month of tanning too. It’s embarrassing to admit that a part of my happiness is tied to how I look, but doesn’t that hold true for all of us? If I feel good on the inside, and I look good on the outside, nothing can stop me.

So I take my glass of water, raise it up, and say cheers to the new installment of Leigha Lovely; The Better Me.

Miscellaneous Anecdotes: When Life Gives you Lemons

When life gives you lemons, trade ’em in for limes and take a shot of tequila.

Luckily, I am not an alcoholic. I’m not even at worry of being one. But I do understand why some people turn into one. Alcohol can be a very useful tool, in moderation of course.

There are times when I find myself in situations that a glass of wine is purely a godsend. Usually it’s wine, sometimes it’s a mixed drink with tequila. Tequila treats me pretty well, surprisingly.

I think it’s the mindset, to be honest. People associate alcohol with relaxation. You get stressed out, you think to yourself how a glass of wine would calm you down, and the calm settles in almost as soon as you poor the glass. The power of the mind, the subconscious, is incredible.

People just have to be careful. You have to know your limits. You have to draw yourself a line. Some people use a number of drinks limit. Some people look to their behavior. “Wow, I was not classy last night, mustn’t do that again.” Some people just plum grow up and don’t see the entire appeal anymore.

I enjoy a drink here and there. I thoroughly enjoy a delicious glass of red wine. But being drunk? I’ll pass. Partly because of the hangover, partly because I don’t always like how I act.

We have all run across addicts in our lives. Addiction is a difficult thing to deal with, no matter if you’re the one addicted or the one trying to help. Some people have addictive personalities that makes it that much easier for it to happen. It’s scary to see people head down that self-destructive path.

When you see someone who used to say, “I’ll never go past this,” and then they do, it’s horrible to watch. It is painful and heartbreaking to see someone you love hurt themselves. And it’s hard to want to help, to need to help, and not knowing how. When the addict gets really bad, they make it even more difficult. The problem is that no one will ever change unless they want to. That’s a hard thing to come to terms with. That sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. That is the hardest part of all.