Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shred Dread...

So I hadn't shredded in almost a week. Last week, I shredded while under the influence of a sore throat, congestion and low-grade fever and it took the phrase, "thought I would die" to a new level for me. And then there were days of laying on the couch, whining and complaining about the throat and all of that.

I did realize, however, that my muscles didn't hurt that badly. Sure, I could barely breathe while I did my jumping jacks and and lunges, but I didn't hurt. SCORE!!! Well, skin hurt, but that's more likely fever-related than shred-related.

Even still, I was dreading getting started again. It had been days. It would feel like starting over, day ONE. I remember the agony of day 1 like it was yesterday. I don't want to go back there at all. I didn't want to turn the DVD on.

But I did. And while I heaved for breath here and there, I did it all. All the push-ups (the girly version), all the lunges, all the squats, all. of. it. And for the most part, I followed Fancy McAdvancedMoves the whole time.

My "wanttodieometer" only went to about a 3-4, as opposed to the 7-9 it usually registers.

Could I be ready for level 2?

I'm scared.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When is the 30 Day Shred NOT a 30 Day Shred?

When you get sick as a dog on day 5 or 6 of the shredding.

Last Wednesday I woke up with congestion and a bit of a sore throat. Having relocated last summer from one side of the country to another, and realizing that this particular congestion and sore throat had been subtly making their way to the "you can no longer ignore us" surface over the course of a week or two, I thought maybe I'd finally run out of luck where allergies are concerned. I grew up in New England and spent almost 9 years in the DC area---never so much as a sniffle or watery eye. But given the entirely different make up of the flora waaaaaay over here, I thought maybe my body was finally rebelling against a rising pollen count.

Sooooo, I dropped Ethan off at a friend's house for a play date then sneezed my way back home (each sneeze thumping in my head like a hammer--good times), changed into my shredding gear and got to it.

Remember in my last post, how I said I was going to turn the volume off on the pain-whore and play my own music? Well. Funny thing. On Tuesday night, our TV went on the blink and when Husband, my tech-geek knight in pocket-protected armor, fixed it, he somehow forgot to rehook the video input from the DVD to the TV. So, ironically, I ended up doing the shred with no visual at all---just a black screen and the sound of *her* voice. ::shudder::

It was actually a really beneficial turn of events (or would have been, had I not been heaving to catch my breath through the pin-hole space in my nasal cavity that was actually admitting oxygen). I could see my own reflection in the television rather than watching those smiling, vacuous robots behind Jillian (hateful, much, Sarah?), and while it wasn't pretty, it enabled me to correct some the issues I was having in my form. And that, in turn, helped me get further into some of the exercises. Mentally, I was watching Natalie and finding that as I saw myself in the TV, I was lunging farther, squatting deeper. With the 3lb weights, for the first time.

I was en fuego. Doing a good job! In spite of the allergies! Woo hoo!!

Until I started seeing the spots.

Yeah, spots in front of your eyes are bad sign mid-way through circuit 2.

I did finish. I took more breaks than usual. But I did every exercise and I did them all to my best ability. Stupid pain-whore.

Telling myself that it was just allergies, I decided later in the day to go to the gym. Just to ride the bike a bit, walk a little on the treadmill. Just for a little bit. When I ride the bike, I put it on random hill and set it up to level 3 or 4. I could barely lift my legs. Spots. So I got onto the treadmill, which I'd normally never set to anything less than 3.6 mph. I found myself short of breath until I set it down to 2.4. Spots.

So I gathered up my kid from the gym play area, talked briefly with a friend of mine (who told me later that I was indeed a weird ashy color at the time) drove home (more spots), took my temperature and found that I was running a fever just shy of 101.

Hrm. Perhaps not allergies after all.

It's been a few days and I think tomorrow I will start again. Husband fixed the video connection, so perhaps I'll have to look at Jillian again tomorrow. I just hope it doesn't feel like starting all over again. Gah.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What? Am I supposed to be exercising?

The eating better is going better. Who knew that cherry tomatoes are >this< close to tasting like candy? Unfortunately, I also baked a lemon/blueberry bread for a playdate yesterday that was delicious. And thus, far more of it than should have ended up in my stomach. Today, however, I had a bowl of cereal for lunch, and salads (big hearty salads) for both lunch and dinner. Strangely, I'm not hungry.

But the working out hasnt' happened since Saturday and that needs to change. Jillian only promises her shredding works if you do it every. freaking. day. Much as I hate her, she's right. I CAN do anything for 20 minutes, so I've got no excuse. I am Queen Excuse and that's got to stop.

Tomorrow, in addition to shredding, I am going to take a yoga class in the morning and hopefully getting to the gym for a little time on the treadmill in the afternoon. Seriously---a goal of THREE workouts in one day??!!! Jillian Michaels can suck it.

Oh, I'm also thinking of taking "before pictures". I'm scared. Hold me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shredding and Vegging

So yeah, I'm still doing that pain-whore's work-out. I loathe her. I am thinking that now I know the routine, I should just put her on mute and play my own thump-a-thump-a music while I go through the 20 minutes, because listening to her makes me want to shove forks in my ears (which I guess is better than forks in my mouth, but whatever...)

In all honesty, I've not done it every single day, but I have done it four of the last six and intend to do it again this evening (and I'll be forcing Husband to join me in the torment--this would be part of the "for worse" vows). It's pretty seductive to go through other womens' 30DS blogs and see their results--both in images and stats. I don't really see any results on myself yet, but there IS the slightest hint of definition in my arms and belly where there wasn't before. Of course, I could just be imaging that. But I have to believe that if I keep at this, I will see results sometime soon.

Of course, I'm not just using the work out and then pigging out. I'm drinking nothing but water (save one cup of sugar free chai tea a day--please, I cannot live w/out a tiny little tea latte), amping up my fruit and veggie intake (I am leaving a bowl of carrots, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes on the kitchen counter to use for my daily grazing and emotional eating--I figure if I can't beat it, embrace it, but healthfully), and I'm not eating after 8pm. The not eating after 8pm is mainly being accomplished because my two cats set up shop on my lap as soon as Ethan goes to bed and they won't let me move. Hard to get to the fridge for mindless eating when a cat is sleeping on you.

So there it is---shredding, eating veggies and drinking water. Funny thing is, after having spent so much time at the gym, and now working out at home w/ the pain-whore, and eating better, my body can actually tell when I'm not staying on track and it makes me pay for it. If I don't work out, I feel tired and lethargic. If I eat too much sugar or dairy, I feel sick-ish. Strangely, that "sick-ish" feeling used to be my normal. WTF.

Still don't think I'd be passing up a slice of Cheesecake Factor cheesecake anytime soon, but at least it's a start.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello, Fat Blog...

If you don't read that title in the same tone of voice in which Seinfeld habitually greeted his arch-nemesis neighbor, Newman, then you aren't quite getting the overall mood of my revisiting this particular topic.

I'm still fat. Well, I have to be fair--not "fat" per se, but chubby. A couple of pounds chubbier than I was when I last left you. Yes, moving to Southern California didn't necessarily spark the "ooooh, we're going to be SO healthy and eat bean sprouts and quinoa and hike canyons and by the fall, I'll totally be waifish (and freaking starving!)" that I thought it would. Turns out, they've got just as many Starbucks here as they did there---and they have Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, too, and their muffins are to die (read: to gain 5 lbs) for.

So here I am, again. Sigh. Not pregnant AND not skinny. I'm just another chubby, not-pregnant girl. Gah!

After having watch every single season of The Biggest Loser, I have developed a love/hate relationship with that she-devil Jillian. Thus far, my commitment to "what have I done today to make myself proud" extended to not eating a bowl of ice cream during the hour or two (those nights are tough) that she show is on. I figure if those contestants, many of whom are two or three of me (much like I am closing in on being two of Nicole Ritchie---when she's not knocked up), can work out for six or seven hours a day, eat nothing but Jenny O turkey and be tempted by tables of full of Krispy Kremes, I can go sixty to one hundred and twenty minutes without ice cream.

Not surprisingly, this sacrifice on my part has not gotten me the desired results. Nor has the anxiety-eating, social-eating, anger-eating, depression-eating, boredom-eating, the all-but-hey-I'm-actually-hungry-eating that I've been doing for, well, years.

Don't get me wrong, I've been going to the gym, spending hours on the treadmill and elliptical trainer, and eating salads for lunch---I'm just not getting results. Because no one is pushing me. And I just don't push myself, beyond the surface.

So I netflixed that she-devil's DVD--The 30 Day Shred. Just the name is shudder-worthy. Do I want to "shred"? For thirty days? That's a lot of shredding. And what is being shred, anyway? Me? Ouch. The premise? A twenty minute work-out, alternating rounds of strength, cardio and abs. Twenty minutes? Hell, I can totally do that!!! Right? right?

"They" say Day 1 is the worst---most likely because it's like being thrown into a freezing cold ice bath after lounging leisurely and blissfully in the sun. After that initial shock, I guess your body isn't surprised by the pain.

So today was Day 1. It sucked. She's so mean. Nothing soft and gentle about her. I believe she wants me to get thin, and that she cares that I stick with it, but a little part of me thinks she must hate me because I'm chubby. Like if she walked by me on the street, she'd go "uggggcccchht" or something, while rolling her eyes and making a comment about fat people to her equally skinny friend. So it's kind of like having the popular, athletic girl from high school "motivate" you to lose weight.

I was taught yoga by a dancer, and have taken pole-dancing classes, so I like to think I have a touch of grace when I move (anyone who's ever actually seen me walk, dance or otherwise move? You go ahead and take a moment to laugh at the idea of me being graceful). But Jillian hasn't an ounce of grace in her---her warm ups are jerky and fast, just throwing her arms around. She admits to being uncomfortable with the hip rolls, like it's embarrassing for her to move her body in a way that could be even the slightest bit sexual in nature. So I wasn't sure if her hard-core, "put your freaking sneakers on and sweat blood" approach was going to be for me.

I didn't really have a whole lot of time to contemplate because she was wiping the floor with my ass by about minute 4.

Jumping Jacks, jumping rope, lunges, squats, crunches, running in place in such a way that you literally kick your own ass (she's a bitch, I tell you! A bitch!)---it's just non-stop and when you think about taking a tiny break in between intervals, she gets all up in your face about how you're "only doing 20 minutes! NO breaks!" Seriously--she's coming through that screen and into your living room and bitch-slapping you if you slow down.

My 2.5 year old (who, in a cruel trick of fate, weighs under 24lbs and has never once been more than 3rd percentile on the weight chart), thought it would be fun to help me, so dodging him on the living room floor as he did "jumping jacks" and "ran in place" (which involved running all over the place) also became a part of the work out. And I was unable to do the bicycle crunches at the end because Ethan thought it would be way more fun to climb up onto my shins as soon as I got my legs up to 90 degrees and pretend that he was an airplane instead. So fine--I was doing crunches while lifting a 23lb weight on my legs---that counts, right? Perhaps that reason alone is the only reason She-Devil didn't come tearing through my screen and berate me for not doing her bicycle crunches the right way.

When it was over, I just hurt. My arms and legs were shaking, my stomach wanted to puke and it was about 20 minutes before I felt like I could stand up long enough to take a shower. And I'm so tired right now, I'm not entirely sure what I'm even writing about.

But that scary bitch will be on my TV screen again tomorrow, for Day 2. "They" say it's easier---"they" better be right.