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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

If you’re not one of the lucky, naturally-thin folks out there who is blessed with a metabolism that leaves you actually wishing you could gain weight, then most likely some form of weight management needs to become a part of your life forever. Unless of course you want to “accept” fatness as a facet of your identity ala the Fat Acceptance Movement. That’s fine and dandy to me. I certainly have my personal issues with the movement, but if people choose and want to stay fat, that’s their choice. For those of us who don’t wish to accept a fat body and would like to maintain a healthy weight, we have to accept that there is no magic fix to weight management and that it’s going to be a lifelong process.

This is why I’ve personally chosen to embrace a life of health and fitness. It’s hard to get fat if the only reasons I miss a workout are being sick or injured, and if I watch what I eat 99% of the time. I make allowance for special occasions and times for treats, but I know that maintaining a healthy weight is within my reach. My attitude before I began this journey was one of defeat. I had sort of decided that while I knew I needed to lose weight, I loved my food too much. I also thought I was eating “healthy” most of the time and that my job was enough exercise. Then, like most of us, I had my wakeup call. The back injury and the crippling and excruciating pain that came after. I can’t remember exactly the day that I started, but there was one day that I decided I was going to eat the way I normally ate for a day, but write it all down. I was astonished to find that I was eating enough calories for 2 days – doubling up.

Some of you may not know this, but I actually managed to lose a good chunk of weight back in 2001-2002. I started out healthy, then got unhealthy as I turned essentially to drugs to help “rev my metabolism” – it’s so embarrassing to think that at one point in my youth I thought that would actually work. It did kind of work, yes, but I felt like crap and looked like crap, too. I also didn’t build any muscle – in fact I’m pretty sure a lot of the weight I lost was muscle. Either way, for some reason my old habits came back and as I got comfortable in my life situation at the time (a new relationship), I stopped watching what I ate, stopped regularly exercising, yet for some crazy reason I didn’t expect to gain back the weight I lost. But I did, with a vengeance.

I’ve vowed “never again” especially after the pain I went through. My petite frame was not meant to carry that much extra weight, especially since I tend to be “top heavy” when I put on weight – no wonder my back went out! I was carrying around the equivalent of several bulk bags of rice on my body. No way do I ever want to go back! But the key mentality to have if you ever lose weight is that unless you stick to what works for GOOD, the weight can, and most likely will, come back.

I mostly bring up this point because a lot of people see weight loss methods as only a means to an end that they’ll get to stop one day, and then just go back to normal, yet not put the weight back on. Or some people slim down quick for an event, say a wedding, then after that they decide that they no longer need to work on it. Also, a lot of these diets focus on omitting an entire food group from your diet instead of working on ways you can permanently change your habits for good health, changes you can live with for life. I’ll pick on the low-carb diets for a second…I don’t think I could live on a low-carb diet for life. I don’t think anyone really could. Also, a lot of people don’t stick with exercise for life. They see it as yet another means to an end, just like they view their diet.

The fact is, watching what you eat and daily exercise are not only good for weight loss or maintaining healthy weight for a lifetime, they are also just generally good for your health. I’m just wondering who wouldn’t want to do all they can to enhance their quality of life into old age? I’ll cite the example of my grandmother who did live a long life, but she was very unhealthy. Sure, she lived to be 86. But she was miserable and sick for the last 15 years of that life. She smoked, was an alcoholic, did not exercise and did not watch her diet – she basically lived on TV dinners from the mid-80’s until she was placed in a retirement home in the late 90’s. She wasn’t fat, but she was very unhealthy. She had emphysema, stroke, and heart disease. I’m wondering if she may have possibly also had liver problems due to her drinking, which she didn’t quit until she was checked into a retirement home. My family found her stash as they were moving her! And my family kept a close watch on her and took turns caring for her each day, she just hid the booze that well! We never found out who was buying it for her because at that point she was no longer driving. Anyway, my point is that people have this mentality for some reason that they will “die anyway, so why bother?” Well, of course we’ll all expire eventually. Healthy people die every day, too. But to me it just seems downright foolhardy not to at least try and maintain good health anyway. When I’m in old age, I want to still have my faculties about me, I want to still be able to move around and go do things. I do NOT want to be sitting on the couch watching television all day when I’m old. I want to be interacting with others. As long as I’m physically able, I’d like to do volunteer work when I’m old. I’d like to still be exercising every day. I’d still like to do a lot of fun things as well. I don’t expect to be hanging ten on a surfboard when I’m 80, but being able to walk and even possibly run at 80 sounds amazing and very doable if I were to continue taking good care of myself. Plus if I have kids, I feel like I would owe it to them to take good care of myself, to lessen the burden on them with my care when I do get really old. Other case in point, my own parents. They’re already experiencing some frailties in their 50’s. I grit my teeth at what it’s going to be like to care for them when they’re older. It’s always hard to care for elder parents even if they are very healthy, but my parents are not as healthy as they could be. The main thing is their smoking, although they’re both putting on weight as older adults.

Part of the problem I think is that for generations people were told that total decay and frailty is just a part of getting old. Losing your memory, losing your faculties, losing your ability to care for yourself, were all seen as inevitable. I think the baby boomers were also told that, which is why I think my parents never really considered their health when they were younger. Right now I’ve made a conscious decision to not repeat the same mistake. I refuse to accept health problems as inevitable things that can’t be prevented. Yes, I acknowledge that there are cases where a person was very healthy and still got sick. But I’m still not willing to gamble and just lie down and accept it. I’ll be proactive.

Which brings me back to weight loss. I’ve made a promise to myself that once I do reach my goal weight, I will remain on a maintainence plan. Part of that plan includes weighing myself once a month. If I start to creep over a certain weight, I will look into why and change my habits. I am not one of those people who has a fast metabolism – I accept that if I want to be a certain weight I’ll always have to watch it. I’d much rather do that than end up unhealthy and unhappy like I was. Plus, I’m young now and it’s easier to deal with this now than it is when a person gets older. I’d so rather get a handle on it and master the good habits now than wait until my 40’s to be proactive.

Some links that help strengthen my point: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-exercise13-2009jul13,0,6577878.story
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/03/us/exercise-and-longevity-a-little-goes-a-long-way.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/hq01676
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10074

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I recently had a discussion with someone who has tried a few times to get into an exercise routine/healthy eating pattern, and always got impatient as far as seeing results. This person also maintained that they never enjoyed it, always felt sore no matter what, and it always felt like a boring chore to them. This person also has a large appetite and gets hungry often, and tends to overeat. This person is not terribly overweight, but very out of shape.

Results don’t come overnight, and sometimes it can be several months before a person starts to see the changes in their body. I think others often notice before the individual does. When you see yourself in the mirror every single day, it can be hard to realize that your body is indeed changing. I for one never thought I’d be dysmorphic about my own body, but for months after I first started I saw the same ole’ fatty in the mirror when other people were noticing visible changes in my physiology. Even recently people are noticing things before I do (namely the fact that I’m starting to have defined hips, etc. and becoming more height-weight proportional).

I asked this person what they did, if they stretched, etc. I came to the conclusion based on their answers that they had thrown themselves into a very rigorous and intense routine too fast, that they weren’t stretching or doing anything else to help sore muscles (hot baths, ice, etc.), and choosing activities that they found inherently boring. This person also hates standing up for long periods of time and maintains that they always get sore no matter what. I had a counter-argument for every excuse this person threw at me, and the conversation got frustrating for both of us so we decided to change the subject. But I ended my points with this person by saying that there has got to be a way for them to eventually find being active enjoyable. It will help this person’s longevity, give them more energy every day, and be beneficial in a huge number of ways. To this person’s credit, they get frustrated with themselves because they know the health benefits of being active, but they feel so helpless about actually applying it to themselves.

So I guess the point of this was to say that people who are new to exercise and out of shape need to ease into a routine. Walking is a great way to start…it’s the first physical exercise most of us learned how to do as toddlers. It can start out slow and go fast. I still do it a lot, I don’t do too much running because of some leg pain I tend to get, but you can burn as many calories power-walking if you do it fast enough, without near the impact of running. Furthermore, stretching is essential. There are a ton of websites out there that can show through pictures and tell you how to properly stretch all your major muscle groups. It’s best to have a bit of a warm-up, stretch, then work out, take a stretch break in the middle (I notice a huge difference when I don’t do this), then cool down and stretch again after the workout. Once the body adapts to regular, mild physical activity, kick it up a notch gradually until you’re used to more strenuous activity.

Exercise is important, but if your diet is craptastic, it’s not going to give you enough health benefits. Some people’s taste buds are so corrupted by junk food that it’s easy to find the taste of healthy stuff “bland” at first because your taste buds are so used to being bombarded by way too much sugar, salt, and trans fats. I highly suggest for people who are having dietary challenges that are blocking them from weight-loss, health improvement, or both to read a great book called If It’s Not Food, Don’t Eat It: The No-Nonsense Guide to an Eating-for-health Lifestyle by Kelly Hayford, a clinical nutritionist. Hayford puts it all forth in a very non-threatening and straightforward way. One thing I respect about it is that she doesn’t preach any dogmatic diet-style (veganism or raw foodism for example) but more discusses the benefits of switching to mostly real, whole foods as opposed to processed stuff. She also discusses how to handle your lifestyle change around family and friends, and the psychological aspects of such a diet change. She has stories of real people and the dramatic, personal changes that happened for them from changing their diet.

To maintain a healthy body weight and good health in general, it is absolutely essential that a person is both physically active AND eats right. The end.

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I have stretch marks and saggy skin from all the weight I’ve lost. I’m young enough that I know that’ll eventually go away with time. I have a pretty good skin-care regimen, I use a good cocoa butter lotion and such. But it’s annoying, and it’s a reminder of the damage I did to my body by being so fat for a good decade or so. At least now when I’m walking I can look down and see my feet. Most people in my life consider me a “normal” weight at this point. I have about 30 lbs. left to lose until I’m at my goal of 120. It feels good being in the “home stretch” for sure, but I just really hope that my skin starts to look normal eventually. I accept that I may always have a little bit of stretch markage going on, but I hope they at least become reduced in appearance.

My ankles are weak for some reason. Wearing ankle braces while I work out isn’t really helping, it almost seems to make it worse. I still work out and work on my feet anyway. I have to. I deal with the pain with Tiger Balm, ibuprofen, and soaking my feet and ankles in epsom salt. I keep telling myself that this too shall pass. I can’t afford new shoes right now. Good shoes are expensive, even if you get them on sale.

My mom got me a cute, new workout outfit to wear to the gym. My current workout clothes are more appropriate for winter time and what my mom got me will be good for when the weather is warmer. We’ve been having really nice, sunny, warm days this week so I’ve been skipping the gym in favor of getting outdoor exercise. I just can’t stand being shut-in inside all day. I’m on day 2 of a 7-day work week. This shall be interesting. I know that exercise will help me not get too stressed at work. The next Saturday that I get off work, I want to go swimming. The bathing suit I bought at the end of the summer last year that was a bit too snug now fits great. It’s not a “sexy” bathing suit, it’s just a nice suit that a swimmer would wear, very full-coverage and aerodynamic (or would that be hydrodynamic?)…Even when I get to be thin I’m not sure I’m into the idea of prancing around in a bikini.

I would rather have saggy skin than extra fat. I know for a fact my skin isn’t as saggy as some people’s who’ve lost a lot of weight since I’ve lost weight slowly, and because I didn’t get as fat as some people.

I’m going to go change into my workout clothes and run now. It’s really pretty outside and unseasonably warm.

As far as being poor goes, we seem to be doing ok. I’ve picked up extra hours this week at work (obviously) and hope to pick up some more later, enough to cover all the bills and such. It’ll be close, but we’ll make it. Roomie’s bosses want to get people back to work in a few weeks if all goes well. Think positive for us, I’m doing my best to do so.

I had a tough weekend with food. I succumbed to my lust for donuts and ate a half dozen of them over 2 days. I guess some would argue that you could do far worse than that, but 3 donuts is a lot of calories and sugar and bad crap. This is why you eat before going grocery shopping. Me and the roommate went to go get a few necessities and neither of us had eaten much that day. That was a mistake because we cruised by the bakery to maybe get a little of the day-old bread for dinner, and instead left with a dozen donuts since they’d marked down the day-old ones to half priced dozens. I told myself I’d only have like 2 of the whole dozen and the roomie could have the rest, but I ended up having six. And I felt it, too. Blarf. I suppose that other people do worse and maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, but because I felt very “out of control” and binge-y while indulging in these things, instead of it being a planned thing, I feel that it merits a little bit of reflection so I deter myself from doing it again. That being said, we rarely keep any sweets in the house aside from his lime sherbet and pop tarts (which I hate anyway, they’re all his and the skinny mofo can eat a ton without gaining an ounce), and sometimes some lowfat frozen yogurt for me to have on weekends (to keep me from eating things like donuts, lol). So I guess I didn’t do as bad as many people do every day. Sometimes I wonder if I do replace food for other forms of pleasure that would actually fulfill me more, like masturbation or massage…haha. Either way, back in control yesterday and today, which is good.

OK I’m going to go exercise now. Laters!

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Hey everyone…I’m thinking now that I’ve gotten back into music, I’m not going to have a lot of spare time to post to this blog. Between making myself practice for an hour a day and making time to hit the gym, along with work and a social life that seems to be developing more for me recently, I’m not going to be focusing as much of my thought on weight loss. Also, I have to admit that weight loss had become somewhat of an obsession to me as of late, and while it’s always good to be focused on your goals, there is a line you can cross where it becomes unhealthy. While I still want to lose those last 30-odd pounds and become very physically fit and stick to a healthy diet, I feel like I’ve said all I need to say for now. Weekends will be easier for me to post, so from time to time I will still probably have something I want to say. I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth or anything, just busy with life is all.

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Well, it feels like my house is falling apart! I’ve had nothing but problems since I moved into this place…ugh. Anyway, this week I’ve been sickly. But luckily the sick hasn’t turned into anything bad. I’m certainly uncomfortable, with a stuffy nose, swollen lymph nodes, minor sore throat, and occasional coughing, but I’m not down enough to not be able to function. I feel run-down by the end of the workday, but I feel energetic enough to do what I’ve got to do until then. I haven’t had a fever, either, and I’ve still been enjoying some exercise. Monday I did some light aerobics, Tuesday (Inauguration day!) I went for a long walk, Wednesday I made it to the gym and did the stationary bike, a rowing machine, pushups, situps, and walked on the track. Yesterday I had to stay home and wait for someone to come fix my furnace (brrr) so I didn’t get to go to the gym, but I did some light aerobics again. I’ve been cautious enough with the exercise to make sure I’m not taxing the energy my body needs to fight this, but doing enough to make sure I’m keeping the conditioning I did last week and that I don’t lose any strength while I’m fighting this bug. I’m also trying to get plenty of sleep every night and using a clean diet and my natural healing stuff I mentioned earlier to help me along. I’m way less sick than those around me and I know it’s because of how well I’ve been taking care of myself. But it still sucks to be sick, even if it’s minor. I hope it goes away soon. I also haven’t missed work, fortunately.

I had been hovering at 155 since before Christmas, and this week I finally lost another pound, and I’m down to 154! It’s exciting, in another 5 lbs. (which I’m hoping will take 5 weeks) I’ll be down in the 140’s, a weight range I haven’t seen since early high school! My willpower as of late has been amazing lately. I think the holidays make me forget how to be unemotional about food, and now that they’ve been over for nearly a month it’s like a switch flipped in my head.

My mom is a bit overweight right now. She’s going through menopause. She’s probably about 20 or 30 lbs. overweight and would probably feel better if she dropped a few pounds. Her primary doctor is telling her to drop some weight, but the nurse practitioner she saw in his place (doc was absent that day) recently said her weight is fine. I think certain medical professionals have different standards for what they consider dangerous weight, and I think this makes it confusing for some patients when they don’t always get to see the same doctor and they get conflicting information like this. My mom has not spent a lot of her life being overweight. She was pretty thin until she had me. She gained some weight with her pregnancies (me and my sis), basically, but managed to get most of it off fairly quickly each time. I think she considers her current weight a natural part of aging, which is a common misconception. While the metabolism may slow down a bit and a person may become less active as a senior, that doesn’t mean that it’s “normal” to pack on the pounds. I’m all for people being active well into their old age, just slowing it down a bit obviously. I do know this guy in his 70’s who bikes 80 miles a day (he comes into my store to buy Clif bars to keep from bonking out). He could be full of shit and really only biking 30 miles, but even so, that’s a great fitness level for someone that age regardless. He’s retired and he likes cycling, so he’s spending his retirement doing what he likes. Can’t say I blame him.

That was a good segue into a topic I find interesting because for me, even when I was very unfit and very fat, I’ve always wanted to be an active senior when I get to that age. Not only do I want to be active, I want to still be able to outrun and outwalk people younger than me. Maybe that’s a bit ambitious, but hey, I like to set my sights high. I know that man who bikes every day that the weather allows, and some people would think he’s crazy, but I think he’s awesome. I also think that Marjorie Newlin, the senior body builder, was also amazing. I want both my mind and body to be sharp when I get up there in years. I watched both sets of my biological grandparents have their health completely deteriorate and become bedridden and senile. I get intense fear of that happening to me and I want to do what I can to prevent it. I know that starting with my fitness now, fostering healthy eating habits, and also taking care to stimulate my brain on a daily basis even though I’m no longer in school (some people stop reading once it’s no longer required of them, how sad!) are things I can do now. Not everything that happens in the future is within my power, but I do have some things I can do now which are. I want to be able to spend my golden years really living, not sitting on the couch watchin’ my stories. Certain parts of aging are inevitable (wrinkles, grey hair, menopause, ear-hair), but not everything that happens to aging people is inevitable (osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, weight gain). Some of us are more genetically predisposed to dementia and Alzheimer’s, but why resign yourself to getting it if you can do a few things now, in your youth, to prevent it from at least getting as BAD?

So my mom is kind of stubborn. She doesn’t feel like she’s overweight enough to worry about it. I mean, if she feels fine maintaining where she is, that’s all good. It’s her body. But at the same time, her and my stepdad also both smoke (and have a hard time quitting as they’ve tried many times and always failed) and they don’t eat the worst diet, but it’s also not the best. They regard their various ailments as a part of aging, when a lot of it can be prevented. My maternal grandmother was obsessive about her own weight to an unhealthy point (we’re pretty sure she had an eating disorder in a time before people really started getting diagnosed with them) so I think my mom is defiant about that sort of attitude. But losing a few pounds for her health isn’t going to make her be like my grandma. Honestly, though, I’d be happy with my folks if they would just stop smoking. I feel like once the smoking goes, a lot of other bad habits they have will go with it. I worry the most about health consequences related to smoking than I do about their weight.

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Well, today I’m glad I don’t have to be at work til 4 pm, because that means I can be home to watch the first Inaugural ceremony I’ve ever been actually excited to watch in my lifetime. I’m hopeful and optimistic about Barack Obama’s potential to help lead our country in a new direction.

As far as fitness goes today, I’m definitely getting the sick. I find that natural remedies help me feel more relief from the symptoms than the over-the-counter Nyquil/Dayquil crap. Coughing is a very important function of the immune system, and most modern medicines suppress coughs, which can make your illness last longer. I tend to try and heal myself with rest, good food, tea, and a few supplements. I find elderberry, zinc, oil of oregano, garlic, ginger and goldenseal to be very helpful whenever I’m sick. Those, along with a little bit of ibuprofen and and antihistamine usually help me better than nyquil or dayquil (or their other counterparts). I also really love spicy food and I like it even spicier when I have a stuffy nose and sore throat. As far as exercise goes today, I’m still feeling up for a little bit. Yesterday when I did the aerobic tape I still had to do the moves faster than they did on the tape, and it felt good to get my heartrate up. Today I’m feeling more groggy, headachy, etc. so I’m thinking a walk is more my speed. I’m going to suit up and go do that before the Inauguration starts. It’s a bit warmer out today than it’s been, and the sun is shining. And I’m happy today.

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So I went to the gym for a second time yesterday. I walked a half mile on the track to warm up, stretched, then hopped on an elliptical machine for 45 minutes. My heart rate increased tenfold, and it felt really good to get into that “zone” again. This time I had more time than I did the other day, so I went for it. I found that I liked it better when I cranked up the resistance and incline, which shows that I have some inherent muscle tone in my legs from all the walking I do, and in my arms from my daily pushups and incidental lifting at work, and that I can handle pushing myself. After my workout on the elliptical, I stretched some more and walked another half mile on the track to cool down. Then I stretched again, rinsed off in the shower, took a quick sauna, and took an actual shower after that. Then I walked to work where I purchased lunch and ate it, just in time to clock in for my shift. Again, an indication of how out of shape I’ve gotten. You have to be in decent shape to do my job well as it requires a lot of physical activity. But I realize when I was “working out” at home, I wasn’t really challenging myself the way you get challenged at the gym. And I’ve also learned that you can lose a good amount of weight and still be pretty out of shape. The gym combined with working an 8-hour shift after really kicked my ass, and my muscles are complaining today. That’s ok, though. I know it’s all a part of it. It’s a “good sore” really. I found that I felt like I had a lot of endorphins released and that I felt cheery and in a really good mood the rest of the day, despite being as tired as I was. I also found that I had a ravenous hunger and had to work really hard on my mind to resist eating more than I should. I made sure to eat quality protein to help my muscles. I’m not going in to the gym today, as work today will be particularly intense since it’s one of our more heavy delivery days and I’ll surely be running up and down the stairs with heavy boxes today. While I want to push myself, I also need to bear in mind that I need recovery time as well. I do plan on going in tomorrow early afternoon before work, though. And the pool is open for a long time on Saturday so I’m thinking a nice lap swim is in order for then. My housemate is really sick, and I feel a little sniffly, but I get exposed to everything by touching money at work, so I feel like I always get a lesser version of the bugs that everyone else gets. Call it free immunization. When I do get really sick, it’s usually always a sinus infection. From what I’ve read, it’s okay to keep doing cardio if you’re sick, as long as you aren’t running a fever and as long as the congestion is primarily in your sinuses and not in your lungs. So if you’re constantly coughing up green globs, perhaps hitting the gym isn’t the best thing to do, but if you’re sniffly, you’re okay. And I practice common courtesy when I do have something and always wash my hands and sanitize after myself to keep others from catching my yuck.

One thing that kind of sucks is that my apartment doesn’t have a bathtub, just a standing shower. I have a huge bucket that I can soak my feet in with epsom salts, but I miss my old house where I could soak my entire BODY. I’m thinking it may be time to invest in a heating pad for the rest of my muscles. I have some nice ice packs, but it’s nice to be able to ice, then heat. I have always had weak ankles and pain in those and the insteps of my feet. Running shoes are expensive, but another near-future investment will be some new shoes. This time instead of using the same pair for everything, I’ll be getting two pairs, one for working out and one for work and walking around. That way they’ll both last longer and support my body better. I also need to head for my chiropractor and get fitted for some new orthotics (mine are on their last legs, or feet as it were, and I was much fatter when I was fitted for em), but those are UBER expensive. Rent is due next paycheck, so we’ll see what happens.

My housemate and I were hanging out last night when I got home from work, watching some boob tube, and he noted my newly forming biceps and triceps. He felt my arm and went, “damn, that’s some definition there!” That was a nice compliment 🙂 Today, despite my arms being sore from the elliptical machine, I did my daily pushups anyway. It’s weird, I used to be afraid of muscle pain from working out. Now I can handle it. I think my pain threshold has increased a lot in the last 2-odd years. It’s also good motivation to know that this kind of pain isn’t forever, that this is just part of me getting used to a new routine. I know the body adjusts. In 2-weeks’ time I should be feeling tons better. I of course won’t be stupid and overdo it, but I’m going to push myself to a reasonable level.

A note about elliptical machines…a close friend of mine who has inspired me with her own fitness journey over the years told me that when she was dropping weight, the elliptical was a great tool because you can get a great cardio workout and burn a lot of calories on it. However, when she was done dropping weight and was ready to take it to a new level, she found that actual RUNNING was a whole lot harder than running on the elliptical (same goes for stationary bikes versus actual cycling). Since I want to train for a 5k this summer, this is good food for thought. But the elliptical is a good start for me, I feel, because it’ll get the job done to get me less fat. It’s a means to an end. The excess weight is a huge reason my foot and ankle pain persists, I think. Once I’m less fat, then I can most likely focus on getting used to REAL running on actual ground (much more impact on the body and takes a much more in-shape person to do).

Also, I need to learn how to manage my time at the gym so I can give myself more time to chill out, eat lunch, etc. before work and let my brain “reset.” I found yesterday that I didn’t have much time after completing my workout, sauna, and shower in time to give myself enough time to eat slowly for one (I had to wolf down my food really fast in time to clock in). I found that my mental functioning was impaired when I first started working. I was easily distracted and felt mentally “fuzzy.” This subsided after an hour or so, though. What I need to do is time it so that I can still get my hour-long session done, have that relaxing sauna and shower, and have a whole hour to devote to eating and relaxing/refreshing before heading in to work. Because of the nature of my work schedule and the hours at my gym, it makes it tricky. The cardio room and track are open from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and then close for classes (college gym and phys. ed. classes happen there), then reopens again after I’m already at work and closes before I get off work. It’s tricky timing since I don’t have a car and have to take the bus to get there, but I can do it! I just have to really be on top of my shit.

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