labelleizzy: (strong)
Today is a good day.
Today I feel strong and whole.
I wonder if I will ever get over feeling so lucky, so happy about getting myself here.

I could have stayed where my childhood left me, tied up in gender stereotypes and my feelings of inadequacy.
I could have been too afraid to risk the pain inherent in risk and change.

I didn't, and I wasn't.

And I am proud of myself for that.

I say that so infrequently that I wanted to record it, meaning to encourage myself to take pride in my accomplishments more frequently. I slide between being reluctant to ackowledge and outright bragging, the grey space in between is hard for me to find.
Sigh.
Subtlety, I can not haz. Oh well. Knowing yourself counts for something!

Learned the hard way that slow and steady, consistent work is the most important way to make lasting change in my life. (I do know that probably sounds obvious. I'm okay with that, I need to keep saying it to myself, regardless.)

I can do a lot of things now, after healing from injuries, and with long practice, that made me feel less-than broken/wrong, and weird as a child and teenager.

Back then I Made a lot of assumptions about what was normal, and I try not to blame myself for that. Learning that "normal" doesnt exist was actually really useful.

What are the important lessons you have learned about how the world works, and how you fit in to that?
labelleizzy: (strong)
This whole series is public, if you have any interest in fat folks getting more fit.

One thing I'm realizing/have realized about recovery from the old ACL injury and the surgery ten years after the original injury, is the degree to which the body adapts to such an injury. Ive been working out hard since 2011, first doing prehab, then surgery Nov 1, 2011, then post surgical rehab.

Old snarls and pains and general fucked upped ness persist for years. The injury persisted for years, it's just logical upon reflection, but i had some magical thinking going into the surgery four years ago... Not just about this, but about a number of things, regrettably.

Any road, four plus years of work has already been paying off, in strength, flexibility, confidence, stress management, and a slow but gradual improvement for most of my physical concerns.

Today, however, today was special. For context: Over the weekend i had an unwelcome sudden unexpected back spasm. Spasms like that have been really really uncommon since i started working out with trainers at the gym but used to happen ALL the time, both when i was injured and during my very sedentary, book lovin', inactive childhood. To repeat, since the knee surgery replaced the necessary ACL structure in my knee, i haven't been used to that kind of occurrence, not for around four years.

Today my body felt... Different. Easier. Like, even on both sides of my hips. Like, both legs feeling the *same*. And the tailbone thats been bothering me, also feels eased. Flexibility is surprisingly good today, i could put my foot on the top rail of the stretch barre, and i could squat further without feeling the danger!pain in my knee, hip, or hamstring.

I'm thinking now that maybe that brief back spasm might have been the last of the old adaptations, finally letting go now that the rest of my body has been strengthened and trained and appropriately balanced to do naturally what bodies are supposed to.

(Hint: it ain't sitting on my ass reading and silent for hours every day as i did during my childhood.)

*happy sigh* i love to move, now. It's a joyful thing.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Yesterday I was due to meet my seester at the gym, we were going to work out together. She had car trouble and had to cancel; I was kind of proud of myself for not finding an excuse not to go, but I already had woken up, gotten dressed, had something to eat (a couple handfuls of Cheerios, but still) and had found my shoes. So when she texted me I decided to just go anyway. I'm at the point where, after having neglected to work out for over 8 weeks, shit HURTS. my lower back has been sore like it used to be, my surgery knee has been tender and a bit wibbly, my shoulder is cranky and crunchy, and my middle back makes cracking noises when I touch my toes.

bad news man.

So I haul ass over there. Took the new car. Weird to feel like "I" fit in with the shiny Audi, Porsche, Prius, etcetera in the parking lot, but I did. I blended. (WAT)

And I go and get on the not the treadmill, but the elliptical trainer, because I wanted to have the option to work my arms, back, and get a bit of a twisting stretch in. I needed it. It felt good.

I got tired and bored pretty quickly. The last few times I have been to the gym I was either meeting my trainer, who definitely keeps me engaged and interested (I am a bit sad she isn't working there anymore), or I've been meeting [livejournal.com profile] tshuma, [livejournal.com profile] wrenb, or I run into [livejournal.com profile] angelkatharine and at least have a bit of a chat. But twenty minutes on the elliptical is considerably less fun when you have nothing to do but be in your brain (now granted, I mentally wrote some more for NaNoWriMo) and nobody to interact with. And I got fatigued after only about six minutes. I blame my not maintaining the habit of regular movement. Expect that there's lactic acid or stress chemicals buildup in my muscles and bloodstream.

(Side note: I know the body excretes waste chemicals in something like six ways: through sweat, tears, piss, shit, and from the genitals via ejaculatory fluid or weeping. that's only five, I wonder if I will remember what the sixth is or if I am misremembering. Point being, I wake up nowadays, sometimes, with my eyes just LEAKING. It's weird and a little disconcerting. But I'm guessing it's because I haven't been working out to a sweat very often recently, so my body has to find another means.)

Anyway, I do make myself do the twenty minutes, and then I go to the foyer where there's exercise balls and foam core rollers and mats, and I start doing some flexibility work for my hips, rolling big slow circles while seated on one of the exercise balls. Felt pretty good, and I was waking up my core muscles too.

And then I see Etty. She's the trainer that my former trainer Tal had told me I might enjoy working with. And we get to talking, and I was *sure* I had sent her an email or a text telling her I had an interest in training together, but she said she never received any such text or email. And I shrug, I don't know if I forgot or not... But it turns out she had an appointment be cancelled for the space that starts in ten minutes, and would I like to work out, gently, as a getting to know you kind of assessment and do we work well together. I'd been debating if I wanted to go in and explore the weights again like I had the last time; and I figure, sure! And she's willing to comp me the hour as we get acquainted. It was like the serendipity fairy came by and sprinkled serendipity dust all over us(me) to get me back into working out regularly!

We have a good getting to know you chat where I fill out the goals for working out worksheet and I find out that Etty also used to teach (and she says Israeli kids don't respect teachers the way kids here do, and I didn't disabuse her of her notion, which was maybe kind, maybe not) but she really likes teaching one on one, so physical training is a good gig for her. I tell her I have joined NaNoWriMo and a little about what it does, and she says, "maybe you should be a writer!"

and I think, maybe I SHOULD be a writer.

And then we go work out a bit, she has me do lunges and squats and moving stretches and checks my form (which is almost like I forgot the million little corrections Tal used to give me, in just over two months) and we talk about how important it is to have correct form, which I couldn't agree more on. I make sure she understands about my surgery leg and the tension from all that adaptation my body had to do while it was injured and uncorrected. And I just realized yesterday that I passed the third anniversary of surgery on Nov. 1, and how good my body feels in retrospect, now. So many little things that really add up. Fuck that first surgeon who tried to tell me that I didn't need surgery, that lots of people do just fine without an ACL, because now I can move and dance and work out and I. DON'T. FUCKING. HURT. ALL THE TIME. Not anymore. Seriously, fuck that guy. I'm so glad I got [livejournal.com profile] bk2wto recommend his surgeon, that guy was PHENOMENAL.

(end digression)

so we try me on plank position and i can't hold it long, and I keep shifting around trying to hold it and she asks me to hold still, and I make it about another three seconds before I just FOLD. dammit. welp this is where I am now, just need to know where I am now so I can set goals appropriately and then work to meet them.

and then we try my pushups ability in a couple different form factors, and she puts me in this frame to have me hold myself up and lift my knees up for core work and wow that was hard, so we try it on a weight bench lying down instead, like swimming instead of like bicycling I realized after I was doing it wrong. More core work for me! More EVERYTHING for me. *sigh* Okay. Need a little work to get back where I was. And to meet my goals of being able to do inversions and maybe start doing some circus arts work. Fun, playful goals. I need fun playful goals. And having a smart trainer who understands about teaching, is a damn good thing.

So I signed up for a new package with Etty. We start next Friday morning at ten, and I'm looking forward to it.
labelleizzy: (i dance)
Yesterday was a busy day full of movement!

Started my day with a workout, me, Tal, and [livejournal.com profile] tshuma, and it went well, I think. I keep forgetting that I've become, actually, kind of strong. It's fun when a workout that makes me sweat a bit doesn't leave me sore afterwards. Good chat with [livejournal.com profile] tshuma and [livejournal.com profile] angelkatharine afterwards in the locker room.

Home for a quick lunch with Jeff, we split the leftover pasta-cheese-salami-veggies salad before I headed out to have a chiropractic adjustment done.

Here's how it goes. Larry and I chat for a bit about what's going on physically. He has me lie faced down on the table, which is articulated to do various kinds of adjustments. He puts one wedge under my right hip and another under my left thigh, and a hot pack/hot towel on my back. He does several kinds of myofascial pressure point releases around my hips and glutes. At that point I start to feel kind of stoned, actually, between the heat and the releases. Very relaxing.

Then he does several small adjustments using the table, and my goal is to maintain the relaxation so he can do the work of the adjustments. After the small adjustments he did some more dramatic adjustments at my hip/sacroiliac joint, and after that settled in he checked the mid-back stiffness caused by a friend hugging me and "cracking my back" a lifetime or three ago, and did a bit of adjustment there. The final stage is I roll over onto my back, and he helps me stretch those lower back muscles and glutes with an assisted/resistance stretch. It was a damn good follow up to the workout.

After seeing Larry, I ran an errand then home, did some writing and reading and got some dinner up using leftovers components, and at 7 I went back into town and got cash so I could go to 5 rhythms dance class! and I danced for something like three hours and I basically STOPPED THINKING AT ALL for that whole time. Just moved. That was amazing. I was a little worried about how the adjustment would incorporate with that kind of moving... but I havent been to dance for ... three months at least. Haven't been since before I started with the diabetes meds and blood tests. (!)

Dancing was *great* but I also received several really lovely heartwarming welcome hugs. Gosh.
I knew I needed it but it's one thing to know you need something and something else to have it offered up to you. That was WONDERFUL. People were really glad to see me! (wow, what?)

I am sore today, some from the dancing (ow my feet) and some tenderness probably from all three things I was active in doing yesterday, It's a good thing though. A little discomfort is a lovely reminder that I'm really and for true LIVING in my body and using it.

Time to go make some things! I'll see about posting photos when I am done...
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Is your body YOU?
Is it all of you, part of you?
Does your body carry "you" around?
Is your body different from "you"?

I had a knee injury for fifteen years. As of November, that's 1/3 of my life. I had ACL replacement surgery 2.5 years ago.
And I've now been doing prehab, rehab, and working with a trainer for three years.

When do I get used to THIS body? This body is tons stronger and more flexible. This body can Do Stuff I wasn't able to do before. In this body my feet stay parallel instead of duck-footing to try and keep the knee stable. This body can balance on one leg to put a sock on, and hold a high plank position for almost a full minute, and roll out of bed without effort or pain. So many changes.

I keep getting shocked by this body... In good ways, true, and I know intellectually that I've worked hard to get here. But my gut, my feelings, keep expecting ... Like that this is too good to be true? Like somehow, without warning, I will automagically return to pain, and weakness, and brokenness.

Why can't I believe that my body has become strong? Why is it so hard to use that word to describe myself?


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

labelleizzy: (not a number)
Last night I had a lovely evening, involving dinner and working on an art project with M and N, who I like more, the more time I spend with them.

With dinner, I had a Thai iced tea. I think I maybe need to not do that anymore because OMG I could NOT get to sleep last night.
My lack of sleep was so bad that I cancelled this morning's workout. Four hours or something of sleep makes Lizzie a something something...

Got a good refresh and um-cuddle with Jeff this morning that was worth at LEAST two hours of sleep!

Too hot to work out at home. hoping I will be able to tag along with [livejournal.com profile] wrenb to a local public pool today. Gah.

Monday's workout, I've been meaning to talk about, but the details have been fading in my mind. I know I was doing a lot more work for longer stretches than I ever used to think I was able to do. Shoulder strength is coming along, as is flexibility. Yesterday I sat up in bed spontaneously and then held the 45 degree angle while I massaged past my belly fat to investigate the musculature: DEFINITELY coming along.

I lost 6 pounds between weigh in on Monday and the last weigh in 6 weeks ago, at least an inch at my waist, and half an inch off arm and leg. It's data, not cause for celebration. The stronger and more flexible is what I'm celebrating. I also wonder to what degree the Metformin is contributing to these recent changes. Cause it could be partly from that and partly that I've increased my number of accountable, structured workouts. Hmmm.

I find I am more willing to move, to fidget, to do more active things casually, than I did this time last year. Standing around with friends after The Winter Soldier, I noticed I could *not* stand still; had to fidget, move, pace, lean on Jeff, etc. It was... strange, and cool. Strong indicator of the nature of this change.

Last night's art project: I was able and willing to hunker down in a crouch, go up and down from it easily, and could stand in Horse Stance for several moments before I even noticed I was doing it. The EFFORT is just less, because the body is stronger. So very cool.

Awright. I got another bit of writing to complete today; even though I've been dropped from LJ Idol, I intend to complete the prompt.
labelleizzy: (greatness)
Today's workout with Tal and [livejournal.com profile] tshuma was challenging in different ways than these used to be.

There was a balance exercise that was physically challenging: stand on a curb with one foot, keep your hips square, bend the knee of the supporting leg and lower your other toe to the ground. Straighten, repeat 10 times on each leg. Whoa.

But the part that's emotionally challenging is to realize that I have made HUMONGOUS progress in strength, flexibility, and balance since I started writing about this journey nearly two years ago.

Cognitive dissonance, man.

Like, I do know that I'm stronger than I used to be, but parts of my brain are still expecting those gains to vanish as soon as I stop looking at them. I have an old script running "this is what my body looks like and this is what it can do"
AND THE SCRIPT IS WRONG.

Not sure how I change that, because both my head and my heart need recalibration.

Tal says that I don't give myself nearly enough credit; that much, I believe! *laughing*

Okay. Here's what I can do:

I can hang out in Table position and extend alternate arm and leg for many seconds with no discomfort or huge effort.

I can hang out in Down Dog for many seconds without discomfort or huge effort.

I can do a dozen inverted rows hanging from the TBX with no discomfort and little effort. I remember how sore my hands wrists elbows and shoulders were when I first started that exercise, and how I did it all wrong.

I can do plank at my knees for ages, and then I can detach one knee or hand at a time, repeatedly. Not up to full plank all the time, but I'm getting there.

I can hold Bridge pose for a good long time, even on a squashy surface like my bed.

Properly warmed up, I can put my foot up on the railing at shoulder height to stretch, with no pain and very little effort.

Each shoulder moves independently, and the adhesions seem to be totally gone, shoulderblades move fluidly and the shoulders are normally down and back instead of hunched up and forward. This is HUGE.

Lower back pain, foot pain, hip pain, pain in the shoulder, has essentially vanished. Knee feels stable.

My curves have been smoothing out as the muscles get stronger and settle in closer to the bones.

I can reach things atop the fridge or at the back of that one shelf without standing on my toes or stretching diagonally, my shoulder just GOES FURTHER NOW.

Deep breathing is my normal way of breathing. Actually scored 100% when I last saw a doctor and the nurse took a blood O2 test! Yeah!

I stand and sit straighter more often. Today I got my hair cut and it felt more natural to sit up straight than to lean back in the chair.

These are all true things.
How I was is not how I am now.

I want to come to terms with that. Internalize it, incorporate it into my self image.

I have become physically strong.

This gives me a sense of peace.

I still have more to say about this but I need to leave it there for the moment.

I am strong.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

labelleizzy: (strong)

for the benefit of new friends who are joining this story already in progress,
somewhere around 20 months ago, I adopted a meme from... somewhere, and the challenge was to write 100 public blog posts about something that you chose. I chose to examine my relationship with fitness and building strength, and my problematic headspace around my childhood as a female geek-before-geeks-were-cool, and physical activity.

 

it turns out that it just took about 22 years to find "my sport", which is DANCING. *grin*

 

for awhile, nearly 3 years in my late 20's, my "sports" were country dance (English and Irish) and taekwondo. Unfortunately (and of course there is a story there) I injured my knee trying for the blue-belt test (the fourth full-belt level out of seven in that system) when I injured my knee very badly on a particular jumping sidekick. my ACL was damaged, and failed utterly about ten years after I damaged it.

 

So I walked and danced without a major structure in my knee for about five years before I finally asked for a surgical consult. Found a remarkable surgeon who'd replaced THREE tendons in my friend Brian's knee (motorcycle accident), had my surgical replacement of my ACL 11\1\11 (Nov. 1 of the year I'd turn 42.)

 

I started doing pre-hab, joined a gym some months before the surgery, and have been pretty consistent in my exercise since that time... Largely because the body HURTS now if I DONT move enough.

 

eh boring. But I do the work so I can do the fun stuff: dance, go hiking, do yoga, lift stuff up over my head around the new place, take care of things on my own without hurting myself.

 

Three weeks without a workout, and without going dancing... I've been sick with cold or allergies and am finally breathing reliably, my ear has finally cleared up (I was half-deaf in one ear for over two weeks) and OW. Body is complaining. 

 

Time to get back on the horse. Anyone want to share details of their fitness efforts? I am a student of Health At Every Size, I don't allow anyone to shit-talk their body or their efforts or anyone else's, and I tend to use other measurements than a scale to track my progress.

 

to start, I plan on trying a double lap walk around the block tomorrow to warm up before running myself through a few quick and gentle yoga routines, because one of my goals is to get back to being able to do shoulder stands, head stands, and hand stands. I loved being upside down when I was a kid, and its a fun, achievable goal in my current state of fitness (even as crunchy and inflexible as my muscles currently feel).

 

Done anything fun in YOUR body recently? =)

labelleizzy: (yoga)
Today's workout was a check-in day to start with. Did a weigh in, body fat percent check. Both are down, weight and body fat. That's because now I have some muscle to work with.

*nodding* YEEEEAH. *flex*

Lots of dynamic-stability work today. Squats into biceps curls, inverted rowing (where you let your body plank backwards and row up using handles suspended from the structure above you), backward lunges into knee-up and twist at the waist. Wow. A lateral leaping from side to side that makes me feel like an Olympic speed-skater. Jogging in place by hop-touching my toes to one of the lower boxes (or sometimes the Bosu half-ball)

Rats. I wish that I listed all my exercises every time I worked out. I know how to DO quite a few exercises, but I'm not necessarily going to remember them in a useful sequence when I go to do them for myself.

Well, doing something is a damn sight better than doing nothing.

Oh! and today, Tal actually had me RUN. 4.0 mph on the treadmill. We did intervals: it was something like 4 minutes of walking to get up to 3.5 mph fast walk, then kicked it over and started to jog for one minute, walk one minute, jog, walk, jog, and then walk to cool down, making note of heart rate both on the way building up to running, and during the cool-down.

But RUNNING! *SQUEE*

And now I have two homeworks.

One is to write up my food intake like I've been supposed to for like three months.
Two is to do that jog-walk interval training at least three times a week for the next three weeks. (and probably beyond that.)

Here is the progress-check since I started to seriously work out again last April (with Tal).

Surgery knee: stable, and up for all kinds of walking, dancing, even slipping and falling. Also up for running and full strength lateral movement. *thumbs up*
Back: Strong, though I do want to work more on the limberness/flexibility. Hurts a lot less than it used to, bends a lot easier than it used to, and I am more interested in moving in new ways.
Arms/Shoulders: Stronger and more flexible, have some muscle definition. My shoulders, more than any other body part, resent it and protest loudly with crunchy discomfort when I do not get enough work out time in. Interesting.
Feet: Have had little to no pain in the foot since I went for four sessions with Dr. Larry, the chiropractor who is also a member at my gym. The main adjustment at the sacro-iliac joint is something I can reproduce in a different, slower/more gradual way, on my own with a particular twisting stretch (the one my brother Scott called the "shortstop stretch") that makes my back make the most UNEARTHLY noises but it feels so much BETTER when I am done.
Neck/head tension: Notably decreased. Head rotation is natural and smooth (unlike some other times in my life), the airline-cable muscles have softened and are more flexible and amenable to stretching, and I can actually get traction on the times I feel like massaging my neck (unlike some other times in my life).

+*+*+*+*+*+*

The JCC that includes my gym, is having a Happy New Year! Post your fitness resolutions on the wall!

They advised being very specific, because you could win a prize, like having the gym pay your registration for a race you said you wanted to finish.

I was very specific.
I want to be able to do headstands and handstands, with good core strength and control, and SLOWLY.

On the back of the card we are supposed to say WHY we have this goal.
I said something about I loved headstands when I was a kid, but never had the strength or courage to work up to doing cartwheels; I'm stronger now than I was then, and more intentionally building that strength.

And then I said that someday I want to teach yoga.
I didn't consciously realize that is something I want, till I wrote it on the card.

So the goal manifested, in part because I have an intention of working with two girlfriends' less-flexible spouses, because they need some yoga, and I need to be teaching so I can remember that teaching itself doesn't suck. Other stuff AROUND teaching sucks, but teaching does not.

Teaching yoga wouldn't suck. I could do that. I want to do that.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Ow.

(Hell, I could make that one word the whole post, just leave it there. But that's not ME, so...)

Workout on Wednesday again, after something like two weeks of not working out, letting my gum graft and top incision heal. I did light housework and gardening, and I'm still getting used to the idea that my body is what it is now (as opposed to what it was while my knee was borked and I slowly gave up dance and most of my other active hobbies). My body is pretty strong now.

But stronger doesn't mean I'm not gonna hurt pretty bad after a solid workout, especially one tailored towards my current weaknesses.

I let Tal know that I recovered well by two weeks after surgery, but that I'd had a couple troubling things happened toward the end of the two weeks.

One was, I'm working on disassembling a structure in the backyard (a kind of cat-run installed by the previous tenants), and discovered that using a hand-screwdriver with hand-arm at shoulder height, led to numbness and tingling in the ring-&-pinky of the hand I was using (my dominant hand), and that I'd dropped the screwdriver three times in an afternoon after those symptoms made it difficult/awkward to hold the screwdriver firmly.

Tal asked had I had any carpal tunnel; I have no such diagnosis, but I allowed that I had, after many years of mousing on the right, and some nervy-feelings in hand and elbow, moved my mouse to my left. But now that Jeff and I share a desktop machine, that's a less convenient thing; and I'm mousing on the right again. Meh.

I suspect that may have contributed to a particular part of the workout where I laid on a mat on my belly, externally rotated my humerus and attempted to point my thumbs at the sky, and then had to pump my arms backwards (up) and hold; had to hold there and raise my chest from the mat. (also that's probably contributory to why my lower back is SO freaking sore that I had trouble sleeping, and was walking like an injured person when I got up this morning.)

Two was, I'd been losing my balance slightly as I've been walking around the house. Catching myself on walls and counters, not all the time, but y'know, a few times is disconcerting enough.

I suspect THAT observation may have been why Tal had me do a lateral leaping movement-exercise, like the Olympic speed-skaters; and why my damn hamstrings and inner thighs are crying out in pain today.

If it hurts bad enough after working it that I need ibuprofen and careful warmups and stretching (and even a soak in my god blessed hot tub!~ for the stretching), then OBVIOUSLY I need to be working those more.

Okay.

This too shall pass, I know. I need to drink more water today (and less tea generally when I am this sore), keep the ibuprofen regular, and move more than I sit.

that said, I'm off to dress in real clothes and get back to work on disassembling the cat run.
labelleizzy: (Buddha think and become)

the theme at the gym this month is "to dream"... they want us to join one or more of the classes there, but those don't really meet me where I dream.

I dream of doing handstands (balance and core and upper body work).

I dream of doing the Wheel pose in yoga (backbend like whoa)

I dream of dancing three hours an evening (cardio, and an improved wardrobe so someones will ask me to dance)

I dream of practical strength: to never be the little old lady who can't touch her toes or has to walk with a walker (beyond rehab, should I need it)

I dream of ridiculous strength (like the line from the Agents of SHIELD episode about "if you're hanging out a window 20 stories up, you're gonna want to be able to do at LEAST one pull-up")

I dream of doing things strong people do (& this week I schlepped 50 pounds of birdseed to my car, in my arms and over my shoulder)

I dream of believing, actually really believing, that I am strong. That I can DO things, things that matter.

I dream of working with my body and hands, my heart and my mind.

I still don't know what shape that needs to take, but I will keep dreaming.

labelleizzy: (strong)
I'm coming off of about three weeks of head-and-chest-cold which had a bonus several hours of flash-fever on Christmas Eve and a heavy period at the same time.

Joy and rapture do not describe my recent frame of mind.

So I finally got to work out with Tal again, after quite awhile, just day before yesterday (Friday).

And nobody is surprised that, even being gentle, she totally kicked my ass and I am sore and tired and emotional today. (the emotional bit is more complicated than just having had a workout and being sore, but I'm not going to get into it now because it is complicated.)

I wonder how long it will take before I can reliably depend on the exercise endorphins again, because that would be a REALLY Good Thing. Probably I need to be able to breathe reliably first, and I feel like I am almost there.

Nothing makes me think about my mortality and aging like having difficulty breathing. FUCK me. I really really HATE that, it goes from depressing to terrifying. And I can only admit that, now that I'm almost done with it, almost back to normal.

One very good thing about Friday's workout, is that I'm still, still after weeks of not being able to work out and feeling weak like a newborn kitten? I'm STILL stronger than I think I am. I've got to do more physical stuff so I can grok it all the way into my bones... I am STRONGER. I can DO STUFF.

How do you get to understand that your physical self has actually changed for the BETTER and it doesnt automagically return to your former state if you neglect it for just a little while?

Well. I don't know.

I'm going to go do some more stuff and enjoy the fact that I CAN.
labelleizzy: (strong)
The last three weeks or so have been really tough for me with regards to getting to the gym on a regular basis. There was a gap where Tal wasn't working one week, and since I've cut back my sessions with her from twice a week to once a week, it's been difficult to motivate myself to haul ass over to the JCC for a minimum of two days of movement per week, and my joints and muscles are COMPLAINING. Seriously, yo. There is no bullshit here, I'm not sad or cranky or disappointed, because it means I have, to borrow a phrase from [livejournal.com profile] karenbynight, Upped My Game. Body has accustomed itself to enough regular movement and strength building exercise that it puts me on notice when I do not do that thing.

And that's precisely the kind of asskicking I require. Good.

Since I've had trouble getting the minimum of two-three hours healthy movement per week, I wanted to return here, and chain my habits together again. The good habit (writing) should support the struggling habit (movement and strength-building) until I can get back on board with regular gym visits and other things.

Benefits of regular movement include:
* mood elevation/evening out
* physical strength has increased
* decrease in regular back pain and other bodily pains
* increase in flexibility of body and mind
* increase in ability to focus for long periods of time at a task (like making art or jewelry)
* improved digestion, appetite, and food choices
* increased stamina and agility and self confidence
* investing in my own future self, my aging in strength and health.

please feel free to comment on this topic, as I strive to improve my habits it's good for me to engage in conversation with others who have similar interests.

\o/
labelleizzy: (inherent worth and dignity)
I've been writing these posts for about a year now, I believe. (correction: since April 2012, so 18 months or so)
I have had difficult time rebuilding a fitness habit since I damaged my leg taking TaeKwonDo in 1998. It was the first time I could remember in my life where my whole body felt strong, balanced, powerful. My feelings about fitness and strength got very complicated after that injury, for various reasons. As feelings often are the motivation for actions...

Well. Due to the Waldorf teacher training, I shored up the foundation of my emotional life, started to take better care of my health, discovered my knee was indeed borked. Had surgery two years ago to replace my ACL, and worked to build my strength up in "pre-hab" and also in re-hab...

I started this 100 things series, like a lot of people did, to write many posts about something that interested me. But I had a sneaky second reason.

I was writing with much more regularity than I was exercising.
*shrug*
So I decided to chain the two habits together.
The one motivated the other, you know? I had an excellent excuse to write, IF I got off my duff and got out or got to the gym. It did work, and I wrote a lot about how I was changing, what body part hurt the most this week and why I thought that was, my hopes and dreams and goals for the whole endeavor, and so on.

But this post today, is because I have realized that I now... I just GO to the gym.
I've successfully built a habit that I wanted to build, and I am seeing remarkable results. I am SO much STRONGER than I once was. Body looks better, functions better, than it has in nearly 20 years.

Building for the future, me. And I'm glad to be doing it for ME (and for Jeff... Keeping up with a younger man can sometimes be *ahem* arduous) and not to fit into a wedding dress or to please someone else.

The other habit I'm proud of building, over the last few years, is the habit of speaking to myself with kindness, of touching my body with kindness. I noticed, today at the gym, gently massaging my tight shoulder and tight knee, that I was speaking gently and encouragingly to my body, moving slowly and gradually stretching as well as I could without judging... "There now, you can do this... It's okay, breathe... Relax, honey... There you go!"

I had to teach myself so much of this. Respect for the body, love of self, valuing self, and what self can do, what bodymind can do together... *wry* was not in the toolbox we got at my house growing up.

So now, having freshly turned 44, it feels as though I have a baseline of fundamental self confidence and physical strength that some lucky bastards have by the time they finish their teens.

Gonna keep moving, keep building strength, enjoy this being embodied thing, spread joy and help out where I can.

Okay. Step out in faith and Get Some Shit Done, now I've got the tools.
labelleizzy: (beauty)


there is a distinct lack of full length mirrors in my house. that said, I got a unique opportunity for a paradigm shift today.

 

hit the gym, worked out with Tal, (poor thing needs a root canal) stretched, showered.

 

came out from the shower, got partly dressed, and started to comb my hair Cousin-It-style because I am retraining the part to be on the other side...

 

Brain says, peering through the screen of hair, "wonder who the cute broad in the tankini is?"

 

...
it was me. I caught myself in the full length mirror, in tank top and underwear.

 

=D
pretty much a Banner Day for my self esteem.

 

Tal also asked had I lost more weight, which I dunno, but I think I've lost *volume*, and gained significant muscle since she and I started working together. She pointed out various examples of my progress since we started working out together.

 

\o/

 

is a good day.


labelleizzy: (changing habit)

tomorrow will be the fourth day in a row, in a row, that I have willingly gone to the gym and gotten my ass kicked worked out.

 

my thighs and shoulders are so sore.
but I was able to do it.
not dead,
not discouraged.

 

and today was over two hours of yoga, the second hour teaching my old friend some yoga basics. so, go me.

 

still, ow.

 

*grinning*
I might be a *little* bit of a masochist.



labelleizzy: (Artists are Dangerous)
Ow ow!
So I went to yoga Tuesday afternoon, had a pretty good workout with Tal yesterday and going to yoga again today because *today* my thighs and shoulders are yelling at me and moving more is what's going to help.

Seriously, there's three steps down to the laundry room and I almost have to hang onto the doorframe to get there, my thighs ache and are that stiff.

Dammit!

At least I do really love yoga, and am meeting a friend this afternoon who is going to try yoga, maybe for the first time.
labelleizzy: (greatness)

back to yoga class for the first time in many weeks.

 

I can do a few things now (what with working out with Tal) that I didn't use to be able for, and a few things I used to be able to do, I can't anymore. Not really surprised.

 

I do need Capri length yoga pants so I can see my feet and ankles, and these yoga pants go up my butt (grrr) so I think that I will retire them ASAP and pick up something different.

 

Stretching every morning: added to goals list.

labelleizzy: (changing habit)

my body REALLY does not like that I have been moving not-much for the last six days.

 

muscles are sore, joints are stiff. digestion and appetite aren't as robust as usual.

 

I Do Not Like This. Long walk tomorrow, yoga tomorrow afternoon. Resume workout on Wednesday.

 

...
damn.
Body be holding me accountable for the workouts.   ...not what I expected.

 

(why I not expected it, I dunno, I should have)

labelleizzy: (butterfly)

my journal, imma be just a little snarky.

 

you know the stereotype that goes "oh, she was so lovely... until she opened her mouth and started speaking"...?
oh, that happens with men too.

 

*moue*

 

but I go to this particular dance partly for the exercise, and partly to be around people, and partly to dare myself to continue with a practice that can be uncomfortable and challenging. that includes me or others saying a dumb thing, pushing too hard to do something, being disappointed in some kind of expectations, etc.

 

it was a good dance. only my second time ever dancing with very energetic Russian boy, second time ever with J who is lovely but presents as shy, and second time with A, who is very very tall, high energy, and very silly. I enjoyed those, very much, as well as lots of momentary people contacts throughout the evening, and my own solo dancing.

 

oh! and I rode my bike there and back, despite having access to car. Convinced myself that I could tag out when the weather is gray, wet, cold, and miserable on a Monday, but I will try using the bicycle to get to dance on Mondays and Wednesday noon gym workouts, at the least.

 

I felt really strong coming home tonight.
it felt really good.

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