Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Good For Me, Right?

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart."  Proverbs 21:2

Ok, I know you’re never supposed to ask a woman her weight, but I’m just going to lay it all out …

I am 5’9” tall and I weigh 160 pounds. Yes, I know, Amazon woman.

I’m never more painfully aware of my size than when I outweigh my husband. That is currently not the case (he has me by 3 pounds), but 160 is my limit. I don’t want to weigh anymore! I already weigh as much as a man! Plus, I have had some excess baggage that I blame on my second child. Ok, so it has been six years, but still…

Last week I joined the local YMCA. I did my first, maiden voyage into the land of “group exercise” precisely one week ago today. The class was called Body Sculpt. I had no idea what to expect, except that it was supposed to be a “total body workout”. About ten people showed up for the class, and I asked around to see what I was supposed to do. I had to pick out a couple of weights, a step, and an elastic band. I positioned myself in the back of the room so that it would be less noticeable if I dropped dead.

The instructor was a small, energetic woman who looked like she’d never had a Snickers bar in her life. Halfway through she was worried about what the humidity was doing to her curly hair. I was concerned that I might never use my legs again. The climactic moment in the class came when we hooked the handles of the elastic bands over our shoes, laid on our backs, and stuck our legs in the sky for some V-shaped repetition work. For one, the step was too short for me, and my head lolled back because by this time I was too weak to hold my own head up. And secondly, my legs should not be over my head… ever. Especially not tied to the bands of death.

Hardly anyone spoke in this class and the mood was funeral-like when the class finally ended. We all shuffled to our cars, and, I suspect, collapsed into them.

As the day wore on, I began to notice aches and pains sneaking up on me. My legs were gearing up for their revenge. The next morning I was pretty sure I had overdone it. With every step, the little muscles on the sides of each thigh felt like my flesh was being torn from the bone. I thought I needed a walker. The muscles that were the worst were the ones you use going down stairs and standing from a seated position. This made using the restroom interesting to say the least. I considered tying a rope from the vanity to as an aid in standing.

After a day of dying, I decided that maybe I needed something to stretch me out, but with no-impact since I didn’t think I could take anymore. My two options were: Zumba (which my friends were going to), or Water Aerobics (which I suspected to be an old lady class).

I chose the Water Aerobics class, hoping they would just let me float. Yes, I was right about the class. Most everyone is at least 30 years older than I, but there are some younger people depending on the day of week. The people in this class talk and laugh and sing and have a good time. I’m pretty sure we only know what the instructor wants us to do about half of the time. We use pool noodles and Styrofoam weights. More my speed after the Body Sculpt experience.

So I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to do one “hard” exercise class a week and see how it goes. I survived the Body Sculpt class with about three days of soreness and hadn’t had any discomfort from three days of Water Aerobics, so I set my sights on Kickboxing.

Ok, so I’ve done taekwondo with my son for about a year, so I was kind of cheating, hoping at least a few of my muscles would have been retained in the month or so since we’d been. The biggest differences about this class was that I had shoes on, and there was music, and no waiting around for the other people to go, which meant I was going the entire hour. We kicked and punched the bag and did some skipping around, and the instructor was again a very petite lady who didn’t feel the same way about Oreo cookies that I feel. Or if she did, it didn’t show.

What was most distinct about this class was that it was the most sweating I have ever done in all of my life. Thank goodness my t-shirt was slightly absorbent. I wiped my brow with my sleeve and literally slung sweat onto the floor. My hair was wet in the back like I’d been in the pool. My gloves actually foamed as I punched the bag. It was disgusting! But I was amazed by my sweating skills nonetheless.

I’ve weighed myself every morning:

Thursday – 160.

Friday – 160.

Saturday – 160.

Sunday – 160.

Monday – 160.

Tuesday – 160.

Wednesday – 160.

I estimate that my activity level has increase 200% in the past week. I estimate that I’m consuming the same or fewer calories each day. I estimate that I don’t know if I’m losing inches because I’m getting really comfortable in my elastic band workout pants.

And so it was this morning, getting out of bed with an aching hiney from all the kicking yesterday, that I resolved to violently throw my bathroom scale out the window if that stupid number refused to move once again!

Thursday – 158.

So I went to Water Aerobics instead. Less impact than stomping on a scale until I break it into a hundred million pieces. Plus it might make me sweaty!

May your day be filled with minor victories and enjoyable challenges.

And perhaps an Oreo cookie or two.

Or at least a Dr. Pepper.


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