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Monday, March 3, 2014

Writing Slowly, But At Least I'm Writing...

"We have a weight to carry
and a distance we must go.
We have a weight to carry,
a destination we can't know.
We have a weight to carry
and can put it down nowhere.
We are the weight we carry
from there to here to there."
-from the "Book of Counted Sorrows" (written by Dean Koontz)

I am made of fail.

February was a mixture of lots of tired and not enough energy. Insomnia exacerbated by living conditions, random work stresses making get all knotty and grumbly, remaining legal stuff taking forever (as I knew it would regardless of who was at fault)... and taxes are just not a happy thought right now.

I think I fulfilled 1/3 - 1/2 of the updates for last month, but that does not a complete month of updates make. I will try harder next time (aka this month, the month of March), I promise. Hopefully sanity and energy levels will be much better this month.

Nothing much to report in the land of "me, myself and I".

Work is still trudging along. The new guy Tim L (who was working out quite nicely) is leaving us for school. He's in his last semester so he opted to concentrate on that instead of that and work. I get that, but I thought he was cool and liked having him around. He picked up stuff rather quickly, and he's extra testosterone for the department. (For a while it was just Wes H before Paul C transferred himself over from being a driver.)

On the plus side of things, I joined a gym and working on becoming half the woman I used to be. (Ba dum bum.)

I joined a few months ago. With the job and the hours that I have available to me, I had to accept the fact that I wasn't going to make it to a gym. Also I didn't have a gym accessible to me where I lived (like my brother has in his apartment complex) to do workouts. (He has since also acquired a gym membership.) Another issue was the track near my house - it wasn't lit well at night (which is when I'd be able to go walking), and I didn't feel comfortable rounding the dark side of the track even with one earbud out listening for creepers for me to shiv. (Also the other day I thought I'd try walking the track, but then I found a BAZILLION geese eating the grass in the center of the track. When I first heard the noise, I swear to you, it sounded like a horror movie sound... like the "kill, kill, kill..." from all those Halloween movies. Funny but creepy all just the same.)

So yeah, even though I can't really afford it, I got a membership at one of those open 24-hours places that gives you a little fob that you hold against the door to unlock and let you in.

What do I do at the gym?

I started off with the treadmill. Simple, right? So I have funky feet (as in flat, large and prone to unhappiness). I went for 30mins the first time. My times at the gym were off and on, me giving in to laziness more than I should have. (Trust me, I need to go to the gym.) But it's hard for me to motivate myself into doing something if I can't find a level of fun in it. The gym I'm at has classes but they're prerecorded classes projected on a screen which is cool so at least there's that, but what I was really looking for was a hip-hop class to take. Gyms that offer stuff like that close early, and I knew that having limited hours at a place with my current availability would not work out for me, and I didn't want to end up paying for a place that I wouldn't be able to make it to.

Eventually I started going more often, usually at night when there are less people hogging the machines. Once I even had the whole place to myself which was kinda cool. I was sick for a couple weeks back toward the end of January so I stayed home thinking it was best that I didn't snot and hack all over the equipment or other patrons. Once I felt better, I came back. About a week or so ago I was again alone in the gym. I had contemplated starting some weights since I need to lessen my midsection. (Having a figure similar that to an eggplant is no bueno.)

A thing that I found odd was that in all the working out I was doing, my thighs were the only bits feeling anything. A friend (Mo C) said that of course working my legs out for over an hour was going to make my thighs. But that wouldn't be the case since I had working my legs off on the treadmill for an hour for a couple months and voila! Nothing. In the end, the general consensus was that my thighs were the weakest body part so that's why it was feeling the way it was feeling.

A few more days later, I started feeling it elsewhere.

So my simple little routine I do when I get to the gym.

I usually watch Food Network while at the gym.

Treadmill
(60min + 5min cool down): I alternate 5min fast, 5min slow since my left leg is still funny when it comes to hard activity. Plus my feet are a little bad but that's what I get for having flat sasquatch tootsies. And the slower times allow me to hydrate without starting a wet t-shirt contest in the gym. -- I really like having a TV to plug into when I'm at the gym so I can tune out all the guys lifting weights in the back of the gym as they grunt like they're either...

  1. in a porno
  2. giving birth to a baby the size of Buick or 
  3. possessed by demons. 

When I hear them grunting and noising off back there, it makes me think of that Phil Hartman SNL sketch where he's a weightlifter and when he goes to stand with the weight, his arms are ripped from their sockets, blood spewing from the shoulders, his arms still sticking up from the bar.


I'm always watching CS:NY close captioned over here.
    Biceps & Triceps (3 sets of 10, 10lbs, 3 sets of 10 down, 20lbs): This machine has an adjustable seat with a desk-like flat surface that is tilted away from you at a 15-degree angle down for your arms to rest on. On the left is a handle to switch to do upward or downward curls.

    I start with the handlebars (they look like bike handlebars, right?) in the down position, and do 3 sets of 10 at 10lbs with a count of 10 seconds in between. Then I switch the handlebars high and change the weight and start to do 3 sets of 10 at 20lbs with a count of 10 seconds in between.

    When I start doing weight stuff, I try my best to not clang the weights against each other when releasing the rep I'm doing. Aside from being bad form, I just hate that noise. I'm usually feeling it on the last set of 10 so sometimes there's a clang. (Can't help it.)



    Hellooooooooo... thighs!!!
    Inner and Outer Thighs (3 sets of 10 each, outer at 30lbs/inner at 20lbs): Next up are my thighs. I stick my legs in what are essentially downward facing stirrups and start with them close together, put the pin at 30lbs, and then BOOM! After three sets, I change the pin to 20lbs, move the stirrups apart and work on my inner thighs.

    I had to cut the image on my phone with an app since the gym frowns on taking pics (mostly I believe of other guests in all their splendor) and some dude in the free weights moved over and looked up just as I took the shot of the machine. So out of politeness (and lack of editing talent on my part), I removed him from the shot.



    Lacking creative caption for this pic,
    Abdominals (10 sets of 10 at 30lbs): And here we are at the end of my workout tour. This works the abs... and I was looking for something to work on my lovely thick looks-like-I-just-got-out-of-hibernation tummy. It's really the only ab machine in the place... save something in the freeweights section, but all that grunting makes me want to stay away.

    So I set the pin at 30lbs (40lbs as of a couple nights ago), pull the rollercoaster-looking shoulder harness over me, hold the jetpack handles and proceed to - essentially - do a sit-up... well... sitting up.

    Since I'm doing 10 sets of 10 at this point (again, a ten second count in between), I always forget where I'm at in my reps. Plus at this point I'm also close to the freeweights area and even though I can't hear the TV, it always seems to be playing a repeat of CASTLE. 

    Distractions. Sheesh.

    I'm tracking my food/calorie intake with an app on my phone that also adds in my exercise to essentially earn back calories. I recently revised my profile so my daily calorie intake is less, and I've been kicking my ass to go the gym everyday. I usually go at night since it's a small gym, and there are less people (and less grunting). 

    Now if I could just make it so I can function just fine with - like - five hours of sleep then that would be fantastic. I can go to the gym, be fully rested, and not be so damn groggy all the time.

    Crappy thing is that the gym used to wear me out so I was properly tired to go straight to bed afterward, but the past two days I had day off were different from previous weeks where I wasn't sleepy enough to sleep until 5-6am... which is just frakked up.

    Damn you insomnia. WTFrak did I ever do to you?

    There are some free classes at sports places that I've been curious to try. There's yoga and hip hop. Zumba scares me a little. Maybe when I've got my bearings a little more with what I'm doing now. We'll see.

    There was something I saw online about how long it takes to notice a difference when working out - for you, for your friends and for your family. I tweeted out the questions, and my friend said about two weeks. I'm not sure what that noticeable change would be since I'm not weighing myself. (I don't know... most of the people at the gym weight themselves in 'kg' and there's something about bending over to flip the switch to pounds that squigs me out. 

    Maybe I'll do that tonight. I'm all about conquering fears and all that.

    I would like some more workout clothes. Shari S (friend from work) got me some clothes which I was surprised but also grateful for. I need more shirts though. The ones she got - the v-neck one especially - are faboo, and I'd love some more of those. I had entertained the notion of getting some large v-neck men's undershirts as workout shirts, but they're a little pricey for a small quantity.

    But I did happen to find some gym shoes which made me hella happy. I have a cush pair of white Skechers that since I don't really have any other sneakers had to do me for the gym, but I didn't want to kill my sneakers too quickly. So Target was having a clearance on some shoes, some of them being athletic shoes. I went about to various Targets to see what their stock was, and the last one I went to, I did what I usually do when trying on clothes and grabbed everything I thought was in my size, sat down and tried everything on. I swear, if I didn't find anything I liked, I was going to give up. But I had pulled about seven boxes. Most of the shoes were origianally $30-$35 but then were marked down to $20. The plan was to use my $15 gift card I won after a game at my friends' holiday party (I got the most unscrambled words... YAY ME!) for my gym shoes and pay the difference. Of the shoes that I liked (which were like three), I checked the price of all of them, and the third pair were only $8. AND IN MY SIZE!!! (I think I mentioned this in my last blog post, but damn, it's just a rare gem of a moment where I find a clearanced item in my size. Usually those items are for smaller sized chics. Not me. But woo hoo!!! Hell, I even impressed the cashier with  my find.)

    So yeah... I'm going to try and keep up this going to the gym every day thing. Hopefully I'll start to see a difference that'll make me feel less moo-like. My pants have been a little loose, but I keep reminding myself hat it's not because I've lost weight... it's just the jeans. (I'm an in-between size so my pants are about a half size too big, and since belts aren't an option for me due to the metal not agreeing with my skin, they can get a little saggy and make my brain say "Hey, is my body getting thinner?" Then I have to tell my brain "No, it's just the jeans." And then my brain goes off and pouts, downs several shots of tequila, and passes out in a pool of despair, Oreos and tears.)

    Oh dear GAWD, where did that come from? LOL!

    Going to the gym now. 

    Later my lovelies,

    Have Goodness!
    Rae

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