Saturday, January 26, 2013

Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes

Vacations do not provide a nurturing environment for a fit lifestyle. 

I suppose that's ok -- a little indulgence can be a good thing. A little bread with my dinner (twice!), baked potato (once) and cheesecake (once -- and 4 of us split it) does not necessarily point to the end of healthy eating. I could've done a little better -- I could've done a lot worse.

As for exercise? I took the work out of workout and made it fun. While I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that, I also know that it was not as effective as what I'm used to. Again -- no big deal. One week out of my life, and I didn't totally slack off -- I just relaxed a little bit.

These are not bad things, although my body is craving a return to a more serious plan. 

My body is craving that.

But my head almost gave up yesterday.

And an awful lot of fitness is in the head.

This is not the most flattering picture ever taken of me, but I like it -- I think there's a lot of  ME in it.
My head got buff way before my body. I think like a weight-lifter, even though I still look like a fat frumpy middle-aged suburbanite. I mean, I WENT THERE in my head. That manifested as an increase in confidence that made almost every aspect of my life better. 


When I relaxed this week, I got a few glimpses of myself as I actually am rather than as I have begun to envision myself. And those glimpses, along with the lax atmosphere, played in my head and flirted with the idea of giving it all up. I wanted a cocktail on a patio. I wanted a big-ass slice of pizza (or 3). I wanted fudge and taffy -- beach food. I wanted to put my damn oysters on a cracker. People do those things. Normal sized people do those things. Why couldn't I do those things?

The answer is, of course, that I can. I am an adult living in a free country with an income -- if I want a martini or a pizza or a whole damn cake, I can have it. But I can't have it and be normal sized. And that is just not frickin' fair. But I guess it's all a trade off. I looked at those normal sized people indulging in those things and realized that - while they can have a treat and remain normal sized, there are trade-offs they're making in other areas of their life. Nobody gets a free ride -- even the people who look like they do.

So I reminded myself of how far I've come by buying far too many clothes. I shopped in stores that were not available to me a year ago. I shopped anywhere I wanted. And I shopped a lot. I spent what I would have spent on food and booze on clothes. 

And that was probably good (although not spending the money at all would have been arguably better).

But I am still so large.

Still very very large.

And I would've said fuck it. if I hadn't been reminded, in a dressing room one day, of my shoulders.

My shoulders are the only body part that have actually visibly changed due to my weight lifting. I can feel the muscles in my arms and legs, but they are still obscured beneath a lot of fat. When and if that melts away..... The muscles are definitely there -- but you're just going to have to take my word for it because they haven't made a public appearance yet. My shoulders, though... I love the way my shoulders look. They didn't look like this before. This is a change that I made happen. I did this. I built these shoulders. And they rock. What if I gave up and started eating and drinking again and I lost these shoulders? No. I think I love these shoulders more than I love pizza. Or booze. Or even cupcakes.

And then there are the knees.

I have degenerative arthritis in my knees and I have a lot of intermittent pain because of this. This pain is one of the things that held me back from exercising for a long time -- I didn't want to exacerbate it. But the damndest thing -- weight lifting didn't make it worse -- it made it better. Not -- like -- fixed it, healed it, made it ALL better -- but comparatively better. I strengthened the muscles around those joints and that lead to less pain. 

photo:  - this is closer to what I look like on the INside
So. Awesome.

Toes? Well, toes don't really come into play much. But they're part of the song. So here's a picture of mine beside my innovative kettle bell substitute. 

Wet sand kettlebells, lots of steps (I'm on the 10th, gym is on the 15th, coffee is on the 2nd) and walks in the soft sand, sometimes against the wind... not a great permanent plan, but it'll do for vacation.
Also -- I guess walking barefoot in the sand causes ones toes to grip, thereby putting a little stretch on the calves. So -- yay toes.

I won't give up. Not today. I'll keep it up for my headshouldersknees and toes (knees and toes). 

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