Sunday, April 28, 2013

A milestone

On Saturday I weighed in and hit the 10 pounds lost mark.

And at the end of that sentence is an implied long, big, loud, bold, italic, flashing, sparkling FINALLY.

This is the longest it has ever taken me to lose the "first" 10 pounds. I re-joined weight watchers on January 3, so almost four months exactly. In my experience, the first 10 comes off the fastest, and the very first time I lost weight with weight watchers, I think I lost 10 pounds in the first month.

I know that the first two months of my re-attempt were half-hearted. I'd lose a little, gain it back, miss a meeting, lose a bit, stay the same, miss another meeting... but for the past month and a half, I've really been hitting my stride.

I've lost the last four weigh-ins in a row, and  though I did miss one meeting due to my little vacation, I came back and saw a loss on the scale EVEN AFTER eating more chimichangas than I could lift.

I keep reminding myself that ever step, every ounce, every movement forward is one that I wouldn't be making if I was doing nothing. If I hadn't started focusing on my diet and fitness four months ago, I'd probably have put on another 15 lbs without any effort.

I'm going slow. But if I lost 10 lbs every 4 months, after a year I'd be down 30 lbs, and that's not so bad. I won't lie, I wish it was going much faster. I wish I could fall asleep and wake up sixty pounds lighter, even if it meant I had literally nothing to wear and had to go to work wrapped in a bedsheet, but that's not the way it works.

So I'll take my 10 lbs, and start working on the next 10.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

what's in my gym bag?

I'm back to hauling all kinds of crap back and forth to the gym.

I've never been one to actually shower at the gym, unless I'm totally drenched in sweat and need to go back to work or out for the evening. I can usually hold off until I return to the comfort of my own bathroom.

But we're having some renovations done to our bathroom in a few weeks, so I'll be relying on the showers at the gym to avoid being known as the stinky coworker/wife. I've also been working out much harder these days and it just seems to be practical to hose off at the gym and be done with it.

Our gym doesn't provide towels, so one of these bad boys takes up a good chunk of space in my bag.

I've given in and after nearly wiping out on the slippery tile floor and thinking too hard about how often (or not) they clean the shower floors, now I pack a pair of these.

I'm not one for putting on a face of makeup after a workout, and we usually go to the gym in the evenings so there's no point in reapplying a full face of makeup, but I've always got some of my favourite moisturizer and some kind of lip balm.

Calgary's super dry, and I picked this up a few weeks ago after I had some skin irritation and needed something with aloe but that wasn't too sticky or heavy. I don't really think it has the soothing properties of aloe, but it does dry super fast, you only have to rub it in for a second unlike most body lotions, and it's kind of fun to apply. I expect this to come in handy during sunburn season, too.

Along with a hair brush and a hair tie or two, I have two of these headbands. I bought them three years ago and they still impress me. They definitely keep my hair out of my face.

Our gym does stock shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the showers, and it's pretty nice stuff, so I don't have to worry about hauling those bottles along. I do have a little bottle of hair product, in case I decide to blowdry my hair. This stuff also works if I just sort of scrunch it in and then let my hair air-dry wavy, but it's been too cold to do that sort of thing yet.

I usually toss in a package of these wipes to get my makeup off. I like the grapefruit scent but I don't know if I'll buy them again, they're a bit stingy on the eyes.

Of course, I've got my smartphone loaded with my favourite workout songs, a pair of earbuds, my workout clothes, a sports bra, running shoes and socks and my keys with my gym pass on the ring.

Compared to some of the ladies at the gym, I certainly pack light. But it still feels like I'm hauling the whole world around with me! What's your essential gym bag item?

Friday, April 26, 2013

and then, a bad zumba workout

Well, and with that last sweeping statement of judge not! All zumba instructors are awesome! I go and prove myself wrong on Wednesday night.

It could have been just me, but the zumba class I took on Wednesday stunk. There was no energy, really repetitive movements, and the rhythm was off so it was hard to follow the instructor. I went in feeling really excited about the class and half way through, I was counting the minutes until it was over.

The instructor said she’d taught three classes that day and it was obvious that she was running on fumes at that point. I felt bad, because I’m sure (well...maybe not sure, but I'm going to choose to give her the benefit of the doubt) that she’s a great instructor ordinarily. 

The last two songs we did were much better than the hour’s worth of zumba that came before them. It must be hard to instruct when you’re tired, and there’s a neon-green energy sucking zumba vampire with a "is this over yet?" grimace on her face (that’d be me) in the front row.

I won’t go to another one of her classes. But at least I got the workout in, and I did get to bust out some of my new hot electric-coloured workout wear. No more blending in the back row in all black for this girl.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On judgment

I really like zumba, but I am very particular about which instructor teaches the classes I go to.

I have my favourites, and now that I'm back working out at World Health, some of them are instructors I've had before.  I also have my not-favourites, the instructors I avoid totally.

This weekend Gary asked if there was a zumba class on Saturday, as he wanted to go to the gym for a really good long workout, and he knows that I'll be occupied for at least an hour if I'm in a class, instead of doing my usual  40 minute run/stretch stint. I checked the schedule and which instructor was teaching. It was someone I'd never had before, but after a quick google search, I deemed her satisfactory and packed up my things.

When we got to the gym, to my surprise, it was a different instructor. One I've been avoiding for two years, based on a bad first impression at what must have been her very first teaching opportunity -- and, I'll admit it, her appearance.

She's really intimidating. Like a little anime ninja penguin with raver tennis shoes and a tough-gal attitude. Not what you'd usually expect from a zumba instructor. She's the type of person you'd expect to see teaching a bootcamp or something involving lots of angry yelling.

But there I was, dressed and ready to go in the zumba studio, so I sucked it up and gave it a try.

Am I ever glad I did. What a positive, fun, tough, amazing workout. She was a fantastic instructor!

I seem to be at a place right now where life, the Universe, God, what have you, is teaching me lessons, and I seem to be hearing them. Be less passive aggressive. Stand up for yourself. Commit to what you want. Don't expect things you want to be easy. Be less judgmental.

So I admit it, Internets. I was wrong. Never again will I shy away from a class with this instructor's name beside it. In fact, I think I'll seek her out again. And maybe I'll even try the new class she's teaching...the one where you hit stuff with sticks and pretend to be a superstar glam rock drummer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

3 minutes

I can't believe I'm running for three minutes at a time now. I'm so proud of myself, and the fact that I am sticking to this.

I went out with friends on Friday night and explained that I had set a goal of running a 5K at the end of June, and that for the first time, I believe that I can do it. I don't have doubts. I'm afraid, yes, and I'm worried that it will take me forever and I'm intimidated, but I believe it myself.

So why don't I believe that I can reach my goal weight?

Running for 30 minutes should seem impossible when I can only run for 3. But two weeks ago, I was running one minute at a time. It's a baby step. But it's progress, and if I keep doing it, I'll get there. I believe that I will.

So why does losing 60 lbs seem impossible, when I've already lost almost 10? I just need to keep doing it.

This is what I'm thinking about today.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Early Birthday

Sunday is my 29th birthday.

It feels really weird to be turning 29, I'll be honest. I can't complain about most of the things you may imagine a 29th birthday might cause some angst about. But it still feels significant. I'm an adult, and I'm responsible, and I can be whoever or whatever I want to be.

Except 25, of course.

As a birthday gift (I always give myself a birthday gift - don't you?) I took myself out to get a hair cut this afternoon.

I am loving my new haircut. It's not that different, really. It's, but better. A more natural looking colour. A fresh, pretty, softer cut. I feel awesome.

I also feel awesome because last night I started week 3 of my running program, which included running for 3 minute stretches. And I CRUSHED it! I didn't stop, I didn't die, and most importantly, at no point did I think that I couldn't do it.

Bring it on, 29!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blue Jean Blues

I want to lose weight so that shopping for jeans is not such an epic quest.

I recognize that no one likes shopping for jeans. And I'm sure it's not easy for lots of people, but I think being plus-sized makes it nearly impossible.

Yesterday I went to the mall with the intention of buying a pair of sandals (that was easy) and a pair of jeans. I tried on every pair of jeans they had in my size at the following stores:

The Bay
The Gap
American Eagle

And that was pretty much every single pair of jeans in the mall available in my size, because they don't have any plus-size retailers. Or a reitmans, where I buy the shameful elasticized-waist comfort jeans that I've been pretending are attractive for a few months now.

I felt like banging my head against a wall. I felt terrible. All I wanted was a pair of medium to dark-wash standard weight denim boot cut jeans. Could I find a pair that fit?

I found one pair. One pair of jeans in the entire mall that fit my requirements and actually fit me.

So I bought the damn things, because obviously that was as good as it was going to get. And they're nice. They're not the most amazing jeans in the world, but they were 40% off, they did not have an elasticized waist, and they seemed quite flattering. They'll do for now, but I am so tired of feeling like there is something wrong with me because I can't buy pants.

I actually had to stop myself in the mall and give myself a pep talk that involved "You are not a bad person because you are having trouble finding pants that fit. You do  not need to buy a cinnamon bun to make yourself feel better. It is the pants, they are not kind to you, and you have no reason to be unkind to yourself on top of this horrifying experience."

I am going to lose weight, so that I can buy pants wherever I feel like it, and talk to myself in the dressing room and say things like, "are these the right length?" and "do the pockets hit in a flattering way on my bum?" instead of, "these are the only pants in the mall that I can hike up past my thighs, so they'll have to do."