Home is where you shower

standard February 22, 2010 3 responses

Every day last week I woke up, slipped on workout gear, dressed the kids, took them to daycare, then headed to the gym to work out. After getting reacquainted with muscles I had forgotten I owned and sweating buckets, I’d grab my gym bag and head to the showers.

A shower is a shower is a shower I thought. It gets you clean. Some are better than others for sure, but as long as they spit water at you long enough for you to rinse out the shampoo and conditioner, you make do.

As it turns out the shower at this gym is quite nice. It’s clean, the water pressure is decent, there’s plenty of space to move around, and the towels are plush, new, and plentiful. Oh, and no one bangs on the door asking if mommy is taking a shower and if she can have a peanut-butter waffle like right now please.

Sounds like heaven, right?

Turns out it wasn’t. By Friday all I wanted to do was shower in my own shower, with my million bottles of shampoo, old tiles, and not new at all towels. I wanted a little face to push up against the glass door and ask me if the waffles were ready yet. Then I wanted to get out and get ready in my own bathroom, with all the stuff that bathrooms accumulate which usually drive me up the wall.

By Saturday morning I felt like I had been away from home for a week and it was exhausting. All I wanted to do was go home, which was completely irrational since I had been home all week – sleeping in my bed, eating on my couch. I just hadn’t been showering at home. That was the only change in my routine.

Forget home being where you hang your hat. Turns out home is where you shower.

If I needed further convincing that this particular workout routine wasn’t the one for me, now I know. Showering at home is part of what makes me feel grounded and ready to face the day. I promise never to take it for granted again.

Trying on a new fitness craze and finding it somewhat lacking

standard February 18, 2010 1 response

I am the queen of starting exercise routines and letting them drop. I’ve taken up running a dozen times. I’ve tried a weight lifting routine that promised to give me Michelle Obama’s arms. I routinely start ab routines. For months weeks a while back I even woke up daily to work out to Denise Austin’s TV show.

Inevitably I get bored with the routine. Or I get sick and get off track. Or one of the kids gets sick and stops sleeping and all of a sudden that extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. I skip a day. Skip another. The dumbbells gather dust. I misplace my sports bra. One sneaker gets stuck behind the dryer, the other is hidden by a pile of shoes. And my muscles go back to their usual soft, toneless state.

Then, months, or sometimes years, later I get tired of being winded after running around the house after the kids. I get sick of having to suck in my gut tighter and tighter to pull on my favorite jeans. I start to avert my eyes from the mirror after getting out of the shower. So I start looking for some new form of exercise to help me get back into shape.

This month I’m trying something called The Dailey Method, a mix of yoga, pilates, and barre work that aims to strengthen the core, blah, blah, blah. The details don’t matter. What matters is that I paid for a month of unlimited classes and by golly I’m going to use up as many of those classes as physically possible.

I’m not in love with the classes. They don’t give me the same high that yoga used to give me. But they are tough and even after three days I’m starting to feel more toned and slightly more fit. Plus, the gym has a shower, which is the only reason I was able to fit it into my insane schedule. 

So yes, even though I was barely able to roll over in bed last night, let alone lean down to grab a tissue from the box on the floor, even though every sneeze, sniffle, and cough sends my abs into agonizing spasms, and even though I am hating spending an hour watching myself huff and puff in the floor length mirror that covers an entire wall of the room we exercise in, I have gone every day this week so far and my goal is to go again every day possible until my unlimited plan runs out.

I’m pig headed that way.

I don’t doubt that something at some point this month will happen to make me rue my goal. I’m sure that some mornings I’m not going to want to jump out of bed, pull on my work out clothes, dress the kids, pack clothes for myself, prepare a breakfast I can take with me, hustle the kids to daycare, and go work out for an hour. But I’m hoping that I’ll have it in me to either push myself past that reluctance or at the very least get up the next day and try again.

And when my trial month is up I’m hoping that I’ll have it in me to move on to the next thing without taking a long hiatus.

My goal after this is to attempt Couch to 5k and maybe get back to going to yoga once a week. Because of all those exercise routines, classes, and everything else I’ve ever taken up on my quest for relative health and fitness, there’s no doubt that running and yoga have always been my favorite and most fulfilling ventures. They make me happy. Which is much more than I can say for Denise Austin, early morning ab crunches, or this latest fitness craze.

30 days later, barely 4lbs lighter.

standard May 26, 2009 6 responses

I did it. I stuck it out. Except I didn’t really.

Wait. Wait. Hear me out!

I did watch my diet and exercise for 30 days. It’s just that I didn’t exactly follow the prescribed plan for the full 30 days. I started out strong, and for two weeks I kept at it like a dog with a bone. I mean, I ate every single little thing that was on the menu plans and not a scrap more, and I did every single exercise routine I was assigned, and yes, even a little more. After two weeks I had lost three pounds, regained two, and I was going insane.

I’m very, very anal when it comes to dieting/lifestyle changing. Tell me what to do and I will do it to the letter, even if it kills me. But I like flexibility. Or rather I need flexibility, because my life is terribly unpredictable. If a friend calls me at the last minute to beg me to come have lunch with her it’s going to kill me that my carefully measured English Muffin and two tbsp of peanut butter with a side salad is waiting for me at home. And if my kids are out of control one morning and I can’t scramble my three egg whites and sprinkle them with cheese before running out the door I’m going to be pretty unhappy.

So after two weeks of making myself and my family miserable I realized that I needed to step back and reassess the situation. I can lose the weight and get back into shape if I follow a smart, healthy, flexible plan. Like, say, Weight Watchers, which fits perfectly into my need for flexibility and my craving for a plan that I can follow to the letter.

Two weeks ago I hauled out my Weight Watchers binder and journal, I calculated my daily points allotment, and I went grocery shopping for all the foods that I’d been missing. For the last two weeks I’ve been on track, eating well and exercising daily. I haven’t felt insane or trapped, and I know that I can do this for the long haul. Which is a good thing, because it’s taken me a month to lose just over 4lbs and I have another 11 or so to go.

I guess I can’t do anything for 30 days, but since I learned to listen to myself and do what’s right for me instead, I think can live with that.

I can do anything for 30 days

standard April 28, 2009 4 responses

Tonight I got kicked out of the kitchen by my family for being overly grumpy. Seriously. They took a vote and decided unanimously that I needed to go chill out in another room.

Harumph.

It’s not my fault I’m grumpy. It’s the chocolate’s fault. Or rather the lack of chocolate, and bread, and candy, and everything else. I’m grumpy because I hate feeling like I can’t eat whatever the heck I want. Nothing makes me crave food more than knowing I can’t have it.

On the flip side, nothing makes me feel better about myself than being able to control my urges and seeing the result on the scale. It’s shallow, I know, but there it is.

Today I started a new weight loss program. It’s a 30 day deal. 30 days of planned meals and scheduled exercise. 30 days. I can do 30 days without chocolate and without candy and without the freedom of being able to eat whatever pleases my fancy.

I knew day 1 would be hard. I’ve cut out sugar in the past. It’s like a drug for me. The first few days are hell, then it gets easier and easier to resist. I knew that I would be fine for the first 2/3rds of the day and that I’d get crabby and hungry just around the time I brought the kids home from daycare. I had a hunch that that was when my resolve would falter and I’d get grumpy at the thought of another healthy meal for dinner. I worried I wouldn’t get through the day without cheating.

What I didn’t take into account was my family, who, instead of letting me get grumpier and grumpier, sent me out of the room to chill out with a cup of tea and a handful of carrots. Ten minutes later I felt better, the hunger had passed and I was more relaxed and able to face the evening.

Now there are 29 days left on this new plan. 29 days. I can do 29 days. Can’t I?