Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New year, new class, new trainer

FINALLY!  Today's the day I can resume WOW (Women On Weights) class!  I thought I'd write before & after the class, just 'cause I like writing.  Having learned that it's better to lift after cardio, my plan is to do just that: cardio, then weights.  Here's what I'm wondering:

1.  How much strength have I lost since September?
2.  How long will it take to rebuild that strength?
3.  Will there be other classmates this time?  (Note to Self: DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF!)
4.  What will my new instructor and her workout style be like?


OH - I remember this.  My arms are so tired that my forearms are resting on the desk while my fingers struggle to type.  I have to say that I'm extra super proud of myself because before WOW I cross-trained 350 calories off my body!  I beat my standard!  And THEN I put my body through weightlifting! (!!!)

Now to answer my morning's questions.

1.  How much strength have I lost since September?  I have  no idea, but I know I'm still strong.  I did all manner of things and lots of 'em and with added weight.  There's no use trying to be what I was, there's only going forward from where I am right now.

2.  How long will it take to rebuild that strength?  One rep at a time.

3.  Will there be other classmates this time?  Yes, there was another woman with me, and while we have different abilities, we have the same determined mindset, so we'll be good together.

4.  What will my new instructor and her style be like?  A swimmer (yay!) who's training for a half Ironman in May (yay!), she's down-to-earth, knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging.

This is gonna be good.

BL 13-1: No Excuses

The Biggest Loser is the only show on television I make time to watch.  This season, inspired by the example of Marie, a friend I've never met (here's her blog), I've decided to indulge myself in a weekly post about my thoughts of and reaction to the show.  In thanks to Marie for showing me it's okay to write about a TV show and as a tool to help myself write my weekly BL pieces, I think I'll address these to Marie.  But even if your name isn't Marie, you're welcome to read.

Dear Marie,

When I first heard that this season's theme would be No Excuses I think I scoffed a little.  I know about excuses and I stopped using them long ago.  No time?  Make time!  Too fat?  Who cares?  Too expensive?  Go around the block!  Well, except for that deep down I did have one excuse: I don't know how to push myself.  That excuse was my ticket to the show.  They've never shown a contestant who knows what to do but just can't seem to do it.  Until this year.  In my pre-show excitement I went to the show's contestant web page to see which contestants would captivate me.  And this year it turns out that there's not only one but two female athletes who've lost their way.

Now that the show has two people with a story similar to mine, I'm thinking my odds of ever getting on the show are even lower.

And I thought about it, Marie, and I saw a great irony: Karin's Excuse No. 1: part of me uses the show as an excuse to not lose weight!  I recognized that part of me is so fascinated with the idea of the whole ranch experience that it's willing to hang on to some pounds in order to still meet the requirement of having at least 85 pounds to lose. 

Yikes!  Now that that excuse has come to light, it's up to me to choose whether to continue to hold back for a 'just in case' which may never come to be,  or to give it my all right here, right now.

Which leads me to Karin's Excuse No. 2: I'm not at the ranch.  Before the contestants even walked through the doors to the BL ranch they participated in a competition, the losing team of which wouldn't set foot on the ranch until a month later.  The show has done this before, and I've always a.) thought how awful the losing contestants must feel having jumped through all the hoops and never getting to train with the BL trainers, and b.) wondered how they'd suddenly find the wherewith all to change their lives.  Did their kids suddenly become independent and their obligations more lenient?  Did they suddenly find time to workout for 4 hours a day and bring home all the right foods?

And on to Karin's Excuse No. 3: I couldn't actually go to the ranch because too many people at home depend on me, and I'd miss my family too much.  Last night one of the contestants used that excuse and asked to be sent home... where he lost fifty pounds!  And the show's not even close to over!  I wonder how much more he'll lose within the next 20 weeks.

And speaking of losing weight within the next 20 weeks, Marie, you know I've decided to challenge myself.  I've told you my weight loss goal which I will meet by the season finale (trying to quiet that doubtful voice in the back of my head).  The only way I even stand a chance is by working my way through the excuses I discovered as well as those piddly ones I keep stomping down (I'm too cozy; I'm too busy).   There are No Excuses.

P.S.  I will no longer use I don't know how to push myself as an excuse.  I will learn how to recognize it and how to do it.  I'm hoping it won't involve a puke bucket, but you never know.

Monday, January 2, 2012

1/2/12: Bob Harper Told Me I'm Strong!

Happy New Year, dear Diary!

When Miss 3-Year-Old woke me up yesterday morning, I was fresh out of a dream in which Bob Harper and I were on an asphalt driveway (he sitting in a lawn chair, I sanding nearby) and I have the feeling he was telling me a camera was getting ready to film me because - and these words I remember clearly - he said, "You're the strong one."  And with that I ran off to get ready, and the dream changed to me telling a young brown-haired girl "That's not your daddy, those are Fred & George Weasley."  I have no idea what that second part's about, but the first part of the dream -- Bob Harper telling me I'm "the strong one" --  made me really, really happy because the message carried hope and affirmation.

While many will create resolutions for what you want to do in 2012, perhaps, it is time to list what you did accomplish in 2011. We all forget what we can do in that search for the newer, better ourselves.  A friend posted that on Facebook, and I'm thankful that she did.  When I read that, I paused and stepped away from my Fresh Start to think about the previous 365 days (525,600 Minutes).  I accomplished a whole lot last year and I know I did because there were times I laughed so hard that my stomach still hurt the next day, and there times when I cried utterly and completely, knowing that my tears couldn't change anything.  I re-discovered the thrill of setting up a challenge and believing I could achieve it, the power of speaking up, and the catharsis of writing.

Not only did I reach out to others as equals, but I sought out and accepted help from strangers.  People new to my life in 2011 helped me learn how to challenge myself, body and soul. 

I began reading more non-fiction than fiction and thereby stumbled onto books which spoke to where I was, and I devoured their lessons. 

In 2011 I opened packages that held love in all manner of forms: measuring cups, cookie cutters, socks, a mood necklace, magnets, a mug, a piece of paper, soap, a Santa candle, and a magical framed print of words.  Were anyone else to read that list, they might think it an ordinary list and that's the way it should be.  The gifts I received are symbols of loving relationships and they remind me of the Love which surrounds, permeates, and must emanate from me.

2011 holds treasures and lessons learned and 2012 holds promise and opportunity.  I, the strong one, embrace them all with love and thanks.