I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope blog to step to! Hey y’all! Sorry I have been sooo out of touch, but I’m gonna try to do better. I know I say that all the time, but I’m serious this time. Lots been going on, but at the same time, not really anything at all. I am still without the internet at home (still on a strict budget and cable, internet, and smartphone are still at the bottom of the list), so I’ve been trying to keep track of block topics in my workout journal. I even typed up a an entry, so I’ll copy & paste it here:

February 12, 2012. 62 days before my birthday. All of a sudden I wanted to say a million things at once. No idea how to begin this blog, lol. Let’s cover time. I’ve spent the past few weeks kinda sorta focused on my goals. Feel me? Half-assed strength training. Not documenting anything. Not walking/running until a few days ago. What happened a few days ago? I joined a gym, for a variety of reasons. One, I have zero intention of walking or running in the cold and most certainly not in the snow. I prefer to walk outside as opposed to on a treadmill, absolutely, but not when it’s cold. If I am going to be serious about my training, I had to either buy a treadmill or join a gym. I chose the gym (obviously). Two, I miss my zumba class, and wanted to have access to group fitness classes. Bookmark Minute Mayhem. Third, I have next to no arm strength. Do you have any idea how hard it is to hold your body weight up when you have next to no arm strength? I need some assistance, so I need weight machines. Specifically, the assisted pull-up contraption. It trips me out, it really does, because I can see muscles in my arms and shoulders where I’m pretty sure there were none before. My skeleton had water balloons attached to it, not muscles. But these are muscles I have now, but still no strength in my arms. How does that work, exactly? I don’t know, but I know I need help.

Ok, so Minute Mayhem. Minute Mayhem is a class at my gym. I was told that it was a class where they did a different exercise every minute. While the word ‘mayhem’ fucked with my head, I figured I could do anything for a minute. Even if the class was 45 minutes long. I could do 45 anythings. It seemed like a fun way to torture myself and I was sure that some of my favorites that I hate to do but love nonetheless (mountain climbers, squats) would be included. And while I was right, and it was exactly what was explained to me, it was NOT fun. It was kind of boring! And the instructor talked to fuckin’ much about shit that had nothing to do with anything: her job, the weather, Valentine’s day, and on and on. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. You’re supposed to be counting reps or telling me to breathe or telling me to engage my abs or something fuckin’ useful, for cryin’ out loud. This random chitter chatter? Grated my last friggin’ nerve. Why was it so boring? The class is 45 minutes long and I’m pretty sure the first 30 minutes went like this: one minute each of jumping rope, squats with shoulder press, jumping jacks, flying angels, triceps press with calf raise, jumping rope, forward/backward lunges with alternating bicep curls, repeat. No rest in between. Boring, boring, boring. But by no means does boring mean it didn’t kick my ass. It showed me exactly how out of shape I really am. I mean, because these were simple moves, done using 5lb weights. FIVE pounds. I think I was supposed to alternate between my heavy weights and my light weights (3lbs), but she never said, so I always grabbed the 5lb weights. She was not a good instructor, at least not for me. Anyway, by the time she threw in mountain climbers, I was whipped! And calling her all kinds of bitches and hoes under my breath. Then there were squats then jump in the air. Bitch. Then she thought I was going to do a burpee? Bitch PLEASE. I was not prepared for all the fuckin’ jumpin’ around. She was lucky I was jumping up in the air from a squat. I just didn’t have a burpee in me. Then, THEN, the trick calls out push-ups. You. Can’t. Even. Be. Serious. You can’t be serious! You have KILLED my arms for 30 minutes and now you want me to do a push-up? Oh, no, I’m sorry, you want me to do push-upS, plural, for one minute. GTFOOH. I tried. No go. I tried to modify it into a girl push-up. But my knees hurt because we didn’t have mats yet. Again, no go. I was cussin’ her out in my head. Perky bitch. And I was angry, so angry, that I couldn’t do this stuff. I have lost over 65 pounds and I still am completely and totally out of shape and weak. I was simultaneously embarrassed that I couldn’t keep up and happy that I was even in the class in the first place. The next time she came to push-ups in the circuit, I did a shoulder press instead. Then I did planks. Then it was time to cool down with running in place and then it was time for the next class, 15 minutes of Flat Belly 101. She literally called out stretches 5 seconds after the other. While we were getting our mats for the ab workout. Yeah, really. I won’t even detail the ab workout. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t keep up with it. While I don’t think I’ll be going to her class anymore, I will try the class at a different gym and maybe see if the other instructors do it differently. If she had tossed in the push-ups, mountain climbers, and squat bursts earlier on, with some different cardio, too, it would have been so much better. I got a damn good workout, my entire body is SORE AS HELL, but the class was boring and she was annoying.

I bought a book on clean eating. I tried to find Tosca Reno’s books at Half Price Books and could not! I went to two different ones. I’m going to try one more store and I hope they have them. If not, I’ll have to look on Amazon. At any rate, I bought a book called Clean Up Your Diet by Max Tomlinson. It’s a good book, and he even has these diets in the book to help with either detox, digestion, and energy. I took the little quiz, and the energy boost was the one I needed (no surprise there).

2/27/12

47 days until my birthday. So the week after I went to Minute Mayhem, I met with the trainer at the gym closest to my job. I dreaded this meeting. I was nervous as all get out and quite possibly intimidated. I say quite possibly because I’m never really intimidated by anything, so I’m not completely sure exactly how intimidation feels. All I know is, I did not want to go meet this man. I get there and he was nice enough. Let’s call him Captain T, the T standing for Torture. So he was nice and pleasant, which is not exactly what I was expecting. I don’t know what I was expecting, but nice and pleasant wasn’t it. I told him what I wanted to work on (lose flab/fat, tone muscle, gain strength and endurance, have more energy) and that I’d tried ST using my body weight, but was too weak to support my body. I told him I was especially weak in my arms. So we jumped right into it. He had me warm up for five minutes on the elliptical, then we went into the workout. We started with TRX, which I’d never done before, but I’d seen it used outside a few times (the cables were hooked to a tall fence, this was actually during the WW Walk-It Challenge last year). I found it wholly interesting that he had me start pulling my body weight when I had JUST told this man I had no arm strength. On TRX we did rows, triceps exercise, squats, chest press, curls, another tricep exercise (I forget what they were), and one more, but I forget. I know there were 6 exercises that we did. Then we went to what I guess is the training room where he had me pick up 10lb (sometimes 12.5lb, but I forget what weight I used for which exercises) dumbbells and do walking lunges across the floor with bicep curls, squats with shoulder press, squats with kettlebell pull up (25lb kettlebell), chest press on the stability ball, and squats on the Bosu ball (no weights). My balance is sooooo nonexistent! I was shaking CONSTANTLY while on that Bosu ball! I SO want to buy one so I can practice at home. This was the first thing I asked him to demonstrate because I wanted to see what it was supposed to look like before I embarrassed myself. He was not shaky AT ALL, not even a little bit. Me? 10 on the Richter scale, for sure. But I did them, without falling, while he stood next to me to spot me. I vowed to myself to play more balance games on the Wii when I had the time. He had me step up on the little square step, kind of a side shuffle step. Let me also say here that he told me he would teach me how to maximize my time. He wasn’t lying. During the entire workout, maybe 30 minutes, he allowed me to rest maybe 3 times, for about 10 seconds each time. He just had me go from one exercise right into the next right into the next. We also did a grip of core exercises: V crunches (leg lifts w/ toe touch), planks, planks with one-arm row, planks with triceps extension, side plank with twist, and side plank with a leg lift. That last one, I didn’t ask him to demonstrate, I made him do it to prove it was possible. Because when he asked me to lift my leg in the air, I tried, and it did not move. I mean, not AT ALL. So I figured this was a bogus request. Squatting on the Bosu ball was damn near impossible, but I was still able to kind of do the squats. This request I couldn’t fulfill at all. My leg was like dead weight covered in cement. Y’all, this man got into a side plank and said, “It’s all about hip strength,” and lifted his leg effortlessly. That’s when I realized the problem: I had no clue how to activate my hip muscle to lift my leg in the air. I was actually trying to lift my foot. After he proved it was possible, I decided to try it again, but it took some serious mental concentration. I was able to do three. I want to improve upon that so badly! I had no idea my hips were so weak!

I wish I could explain how totally conflicted I am. I feel weak to be so “small.” I feel like I’m a phony; here I am, 60-some odd-pounds lighter than I was when I started WW, and I’m just as weak as I was when I started. My body isn’t really transformed; it’s just a smaller version of my former self, weaknesses included. Even still, I take great pride in my body and what it’s able to do. Had I tried doing this workout last year, I would have demanded time to rest between exercises. I would have struggled with the workout. I would have physically not been able to do some of the exercises. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to hold a plank long enough to do rows and twists and three whole leg lifts. And I never would have agreed to working out with a trainer, even if it was only for a day. I would have avoided that like the plague! It’s like the dentist: modern day torture. Plus, it’s expensive as hell (at least to me, The Broke & the Frugal). So we finish the workout, and I’m thinking it wasn’t so bad and I tell him as much. He said, “Yeah, I didn’t want to kill you today. I want you to come back! LOL!” Although I chuckled, I thought using the phrases ‘kill you’ and ‘I want you to come back’ all in the same breath was borderline abusive and a not-good selling tactic. Still, I go in to the office and I listen to the sales pitch. I already knew I wasn’t purchasing sessions with a personal trainer (hello, frugal), but I’m not rude, so I listen. Early, after hearing about my WW experience and why I haven’t been successful with ST on my own, he came to the conclusion that I need both motivation and accountability in my workouts. So as he goes through this sales pitch, I’m thinking about that and how true it is. WW works for me because I like the accountability of standing on the scale in front of another human being.

Fast forward to today, 2/28/12. Suffice it to say that after that initial meeting with the trainer, I decided to sign up for a year of sessions with him, once a week. Today, as I type this with painful arms that I can’t stretch fully out, I wonder exactly why I signed up for this. But then I remember that I want my body transformed, and I wasn’t successful at it alone. I need help and I got it. Yes, my frugal ass is paying for sessions with the personal trainer. And dreading every meeting. But I feel SO good when it’s all over. Good that I stuck with it and good that I finished the workout. I have yet to do any strength training on my own. Today he wrote down everything we did (I write it down in my training log, too) and the plan for how to do my weight training each week. I alternate between CrossFit and strength training. So far, we’ve done mostly CrossFit, so that’s what I’ll be doing the rest of this week. Captain T is also a marathoner and triathlete, so he is also helping me train for the half marathon this May at the Flying Pig Marathon. I told him the longest I’ve ever run is 10 minutes, so he told me to add 1 minute every time I walk/run. The other day, I did 12 minutes, so today he told me to shoot for 14. Had I gotten to the gym early enough to do my walk/run before my workout with him, I would have been able to do 14 minutes, I’m sure of it (Capt. T thinks I could do 17 minutes, but I’m not studdin’ what he talkin’ about). When I tell you that he took it ALL out of me today, he killed me. My arms were hurting when I got there and now they are just fucked. It already hurts to brush my teeth, I’m afraid what they’re gonna feel like tomorrow. Every time I move my arm and feel that pain, I remind myself that I’m building a better body, one that I can market as a personal trainer and actually get some clients. So I have a love-hate relationship with Capt. T. When my birthday gets here, in 46 days, I hope to see some results. My shoulder hurts like hell right now.

All in all, I am TOTALLY enjoying the gym. Who knew I’d turn into such a gym rat, going to the gym 5 times a week?! I saw a sign saying they were hiring and actually thought of applying, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t make much money. I’m not sure I’m much of a salesperson. I dunno, I think I might be able to convince people to invest in their health like I have. I’m gonna give it A LOT of thought. Capt. T knows I aspire to being a personal trainer, so maybe I’ll talk to him about it. I’ll see if they have part-time opportunities available. After deciding that I wanted to be a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I never really saw myself working in a gym. I always picture myself outside, which is weird because in my real life, I hate the outdoors. It’s the exact opposite when it comes to exercise; I’d much prefer to be outside. Huh, I just learned something new about myself. Anyway, I always picture myself outside leading a boot camp or zumba class, or having someone run through circuits outside using minimal equipment. Being in a gym setting never really crossed my mind. But I am going to give it some serious thought.

What’s new on the WW front? I am in my 5th week of maintenance and I weigh in tomorrow. This morning the Wii had me at 163.8. My goal is 162 so I’m hoping my weight is the same tomorrow. Then I have one more week and I’ll be LIFETIME!!!! I have to be at Lifetime in order to interview for WW, so I’m looking forward to my weigh-in next week. My leader asks me every week when I can start training. I’m looking forward to being able to add that to my resume.

Oh! The clean eating book. Yeah, haven’t started that yet, but I will since I have to show my trainer my food log. Have we talked about that? I have to give him a weekly log of my cardio, weight training, and my food diary. I am SO uncomfortable with it, but it is forcing me to eat better, and I need that. These past couple of weeks I have eaten a lot of processed foods, frozen meals, and too many snacks (pretzels and Special K Cracker Chips). I treat Nature Valley protein bars like candy bars. I’m getting better, but man it is not easy. Yes, WW helps you to make better decisions, but it doesn’t force you to eat healthy, let alone clean. You can still choose the not-so-good choice if you want and still lose the weight. Having to show my food log to my trainer? Guarantees the night snacking will stop. It also guarantees I’ll eat breakfast every day, within 30 minutes of waking up. My first meal has always been 2 or 3 hours after I wake up. Tomorrow I’m eating breakfast inside the WW meeting. I’ll make a smoothie and take with me to drink after I weigh in. I’m not eating before my weigh in, period. Sorry, Capt. T. So I’ll be starting the energy boost plan in my clean eating book. I’ll also start to break out my juicer (which I haven’t used in who knows how long) and juice some fresh fruits and veggies. I’ll either drink the juices or use them in my smoothies.

So that’s what’s going on with me. Hope all is going well with you, your health, and your goals! If it is not going well, you are the only one who can change that. Make that change (in my MJJ voice)!!! I’ll try to check in tomorrow after weigh-in. Have a great week!

(sorry if there are typos, I didn’t have time to proofread it)

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