Hoo boy. This is a difficult topic for me. I want to record my small progresses as I move along this road to better health, but the bad guys inside me keep trying to make me give up. Who are the bad guys? They are my cravings for laziness, nicotine, caffeine and other assorted legal drugs, like chocolate.
The one thought that prevails in my head (for what reason I do not know) is that it took me twenty some-odd years to get this unhealthy, I must be patient in my hellish “detox” attempt.
Another thought that keeps me going is “It could be worse.” I could be 80 pounds overweight rather than 40, and I could be addicted to things that make me see pink elephants flying around the room rather than things that make my hair smell and my clothes too snug.
It’s time to admit that I’m going to Curves for Women. Bleh. I totally hate the name of the place. Don’t know why, but my daughter thinks it’s hilarious that I refer to it as a gym and not “Curves.”
In truth, it’s a rather cool place. It’s small and cozy but they have some of the neatest machines on which to work out (it’s circuit training with resistance machines rather than weight lifting) and the people I’ve seen there are people just like me. We just don’t wish to compete with the latest workout-fashions and feel a tad intimidated huffing and puffing next to Hourglass-Annie or Johnnie-Muscletard.
One reason I don’t like to call it Curves is because I have spent the past four years making fun of the very name of the place and I haven’t yet accepted the fact that I’m now a part of it. Look ~ it has exercise equipment, upbeat music and people in sweats and it’s sole purpose is to help me whip my lazy self into shape … it’s a gym. So there.
Okay, on with the progress report.
Each month they will measure and weigh me. Saturday was my one-month mark, so I was feeling p-r-e-t-t-y excited when I walked into the place. First things first, I stepped onto the scale and learned that I GAINED two pounds*. Joy of all joys. Anyone who knows me can tell you that this killed it for me for the rest of the day. It wouldn’t have mattered if they told me I lost 18 inches and 10 percent bodyfat. All I knew at that point was that I joined a gym, broke my ass to get there every other day for one full month and GAINED weight.
They claim this two pound gain could be muscle. Okay, I’ll take it. But I don’t have to be happy about it.
I lost an inch from my upper arms and two inches from what they are calling my stomach – though I always believed the stomach was between the navel and chest. The area I lost it from is just below beltline. Not too bad, I suppose, as far as progress goes.
I GAINED a half inch on my calves. Oh yes, now that’s what I’m looking for – muscular calves. Pulleeze.
Aside from losing an additional fraction of an inch from here and there, everything else remained the same.
The thing is, I wanted more. I wanted to go in there and say “HOLY COW … GOOD JOB ME!” and to be so excited that I whipped right through my little workout with nothing on my mind but coming back for more. That’s my problem right there in a nutshell. I set ridiculously unrealistic expectations for myself and wind up getting bitch-slapped every time. I need to stop that. Anyone know how?
The flipside is, there have been wonderful ‘other things’ going on as a direct result of all my efforts at the gym. Let me list them for you.
1. I’m getting my ass out of the house every other day, sometimes two days in a row.
2. I DO feel more energized. (I fight this … I really do … but it happens)
3. I know this might sound silly, but my mind seems more tuned-up than it was a month ago
4. I seem to be sleeping more restfully, and through the night
5. I enjoy the social aspect and don’t feel so ‘alone’ in my battle
6. (this one is huge) I’m actually looking forward to the nicer weather so I can walk outdoors on my off-gym days
7. I suddenly have a desire to quit smoking. I haven’t yet, and I’m skeptical as hell that it will actually happen … but my thoughts lean heavily toward trying rather than giving up on myself. Thanks to Dan
I’ve ordered a book that is supposedly the end-all in relieving oneself of this wretched habit. We'll see what happens when I give it a read. And thanks to Don
for offering encouragement and genuine moral support without any bashing.
8. During my first week at the gym, I couldn’t even hold conversation while working out. No way in hell. I huffed and I puffed (literally) and really had to push myself to be able to finish the program. Four weeks later and I can talk up a blue streak throughout the entire process. (I fear the people at the gym are sorry to see this particular type of progress in me). I never would have believed this possible if I hadn’t seen it myself.
9. My favorite little black Mary Tyler Moore stretch pants are starting to fall off my tummy while I work out. I actually have to pick them up several times while in the process. Is this more information than you really needed?
10. My funks seem to pass quicker than they did before. They still happen but not for long.
11. My bad cholesterol (the LDLs) has dropped by 30 points! It’s actually at an all time low for me – 56. So there you have it. Some good changes, some not so good changes.
The only BAD thing that has happened to be as a direct result of joining this gym is that one day, after really pushing myself to get there and workout, I was apparently in quite the hurry to get back home and bought myself a $100 speeding ticket right in front of Foxwoods. I was in such an ‘up’ mood at the time that I forgot all about my expert ‘talk yourself out of it” skills (well honed throughout the years) and even thanked the bastard when he handed me the ticket!! I had to look at myself in the mirror as I drove off to make sure it was really me. Sadly, it was.
So the long and short of it is that I’m still going – I’ve signed on for another month and the penny pincher in me will not allow this money to be thrown out the window. Gee, I wonder if I’ll put on six more pounds before the month is through. I can hardly wait to find out. [insert furrowed brow]
*Incase anyone is wondering … we’ve been careful with our diets in this house for three years now, so the weight gain probably isn’t
from fat. I just need to work harder on meal portion size and the occasional piece of scrumptious, smooth, sweet and comforting candy.