labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I have a sadface, on the one hand. OTOH, it was an epic last workout, not an "evaluation" session like I halfway expected.

Tal is awesome, I'm going to miss working out with her. She is great at giving me the little corrections that make my workouts better: like, check your stance, your feet aren't even. Step backwards one step so the cable crosses your body and not your neck. (oy.) Did you see how your body dipped there? Tighten your core muscles. Liz, you can only talk if you are still working out. (grinning, I do talk to her a lot) Make sure your back is flat. (she used to use an image of "there are ants trying to walk under your back, squish the ants, don't let them through!)

What a great year-and-four-months this has been. Such focus, many muscles, wow. (heh heh heh)

I'm so much stronger than I was. I'm much more confident in my body than I was. I wake up with SO MUCH LESS PAIN than I did once upon a time. Some of that is thanks to the knee surgery that replaced my ACL at the end of 2011, but much of it is due to her guidance and encouragement.

She remembered to return a book I lent her, Strong Women Stay Young, and she wrote me a little thank you card. I'm pleased that I had a set of the little gifts I'd made for Burning Man with me, and could give her one. She said she hopes I keep in touch and reminded me that I have her phone number. I think I'll keep texting her. She is just neat and awesome.

What a beautiful day today is.

Oh, note to self: remember to start using the foam core roller on your thighs and IT band. You need it.
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)
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/

100 things.

May. 3rd, 2013 01:28 pm
labelleizzy: (autumn leaves)

Working out is *fun*.
Tal seems to grok that a) bodyweight exercises are both more appropriate for the shape I'm currently in (ROUND is a shape!) and b) that mixing it up, making each workout different, is the most engaging.
I don't think we have done the same exercise twice yet, barring warmup on the fitness center stairs.

 

bless her. I admitted I didn't do my homework between Wednesday and today (was supposed to do an hour of something cardio and an hour of yoga, oy, that's a lot!).
She asked, semi rhetorically, "what am I supposed to say to that?" in her slight accent.

 

I said mildly, "Say, 'do better next time'."
So she did, exactly so.

 

*smile* I don't know if I will be able to do all of the next batch of homework, she wants me to do two cardio and one yoga (Monday and Tuesday classes I've been trying to attend anyway) so if I can fit one cardio in over the weekend I'll be set.
she also wants me to eat five times a day.
I like how that makes me feel when I do it, so I will definitely try. I'm up to twice today, and I will see how it goes.

 

Balance work is crucial, I was very weak and noodly-muscled when I tried the various balancing exercises Tal asked me to do. Core strength also needs work.

 

well, that IS why I'm working with her. Because I know I need help to get back to a habit of fitness and flexibility.

 

This is the diagnosis phase, where we find out what I'm capable of while simultaneously working to IMPROVE what I'm capable of.

 

Forward Momentum!





labelleizzy: (changing habit)

Got myself to the gym today, woooo

 

last night I had the devil's own time getting to sleep. I had that talk with Jeff and it relieved my mind and heart but apparently all my residual stress went and knotted up my body. I tried stretching, it was 2 am, and my hips that usually go /click/ went /CRACK!/ and then my knee was sore, so I knew I had it bad... hips, shoulders, mid-back, hamstrings, jaw muscles... all so tense they wouldn't SHUT UP.

 

I took one of the leftover painkillers from after the knee surgery. they generally have a nice muscle relaxing quality, I get warm, and as they wear off, my skin gets randomly itchy. so I don't use one unless it's pretty bad. it was indeed pretty bad. I tried for what felt like hours to fall asleep, even with the help of stretching, warmups, and the painkiller, and then I think I just rested, without sleep. or else I dreamed that I wasn't sleeping, so not much more restful.

 

Christmas was the last week I had regular work and a regular exercise routine. twice a week at least.

 

I have decided to engage with one of the trainers at the gym. I can't make my goals alone, at this point.

 

Goals:
* strength and flexibility enough to where I am able to take a yoga or dance class without worrying if I will last through it,
* enough stamina and wind to go to a Gaskells ball or Friday Night Waltz and dance as much as I want to...
* and building a plan for habitual enjoyable exercise that will last me into my Croning Years or Dotage or beyond.

 

I did get in and get moving today, I did start loosening up the crunchy crusty stressy painful joints and muscles, with gentle and intuitive stretches after I warmed up on the treadmill, and light upper body work. Bare minimum stuff.

 

I'll hurt less tonight, hopefully sleep better, but in order to IMPROVE my condition, I need someone or something else to push me. I do best when I have a class where I do the thing regularly. Yoga and 5Rhythms, I'm hoping to get back to them.

 

Want to try Zumba! Want to try Nia. want to try Pilates, and I most sorely want a Bellydance or Hula class.

 

One step at a time. Get Moving first, then Build Momentum, then Add New Skills.

 

(dancedancedance) (wanna get dancing)

 

but for right now, my eyes are crossing.
To bed, to bed!

 





labelleizzy: (strong)
Made it to the gym again today. Woot! twice in one week!

I had a lovely LOVELY massage first. I will never know how it was we managed to spend most of 90 minutes just on my torso, and only the back side of my torso... except it was indeed rather painful in parts, and I had to do deep breathing, and he worked in exquisite detail on gluteal muscles and under my scapula and on those little and very painful muscles in my neck. I think I love him, it's a platonic and grateful love. =)

so after the massage I got some miso soup and some tea and a couple of hand-rolls (scallops and hamachi) for mid afternoon snack and electrolyte refresh, checked email, and then headed over to the gym. Where I only did about 22 minutes of cardio, only adductors/abductors machines (you'll note that I missed those during my last workout) and a wee bit of yogic stretches and a few hits at downward-facing dog, before spending my last little bit of endorphin-generation on rolling the muscles of my legs on the foam core rollers...

as I said on FB, "there are many ways of earning your endorphins. This one is mine."

edit: Note to self: You can now hold Down-Dog indefinitely, with flat hands and feet, at a more acute (sharper?) angle than ever before, and can adjust shoulder posture while still in the pose. Also: today during the massage you adjusted for comfort while lying face down and aligned your leg bones STRAIGHT, not splayed duckfooted. Your body is finally learning what balance and proper knees and hips really feel like and look like. this is SO FREAKING AWESOME.
labelleizzy: (stoutness)
Yesterday I went to [livejournal.com profile] fyrekaaat's 21st birthday party, and bailed on my usual Monday dance class at 5rhythms. (For the record, I really miss the dancing, but I don't get invited to such a special birthday party very often, so I made a tough choice.

I'm really proud of myself for hauling my butt to the gym in the late afternoon to make up for missing the dance class. And incidentally, because my joints have been HURTING. and I know that if I move intentionally, my muscles limber and stretch, stop hurting so bloody much, and my joints get relief also.
I'm lucky that way, as I have friends for whom this isn't true.

But I just wanted to brag a little about what I accomplished.
1) I spent a full 30 minutes on the machine-that-is-the-bastard-child-of-elliptical-and-exercisebike (I gotta find out what the hell to call that thing, because it is FUN). This is almost ten more minutes of cardio than I usually do. Had it set on level 1; I must admit that it wasn't uber challenging. I think that's okay, because my shoulders and neck and back have been so twingy that I wanted to be gentle and prolonged with the warm up.

2) I did a little bit of work on the weights, added some weight on a couple of machines (d'oh! just realized I completely skipped the adductors and abductors machines!) and helped some of the tight sore muscles to relax. Generally quite gentle with myself after almost 3 weeks away.

3) Found an open space off in a secluded corner with nobody in it, and yoga mats hanging. I love this spot. I did a variety of my yoga warmups until the remaining stiff muscles felt better, then did some of the wonderful stretches. My core muscles must be reasonably strong, because I can hold my legs up in the air firmly without any wobbles and without *thinking* about it. This is so much yay.

4) Finished off with rocking up into a shoulder stand again, and made the effort to try and straighten my legs and torso up more vertically... can't get there yet, but nothing hurt and I wasn't very wobbly, and this was A New Thing that made me chuckle with pleasure at my own body.

(and then Jeff and I went to the pub in Oakland with [livejournal.com profile] ag_unicorn and [livejournal.com profile] zpdiduda and [livejournal.com profile] fyrekaaat and her friends and tried some new kinds of beer. Nom nom nom Blood Orange Cider and Purple Haze, which is a raspberry-wheat-beer.)

A very good evening, well spent in good company.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Jeff and I BOTH made it to the gym tonight.
WOO
(and he made noises like he was amenable to doing this every Sunday, DOUBLE WOO)

NOTES:
I stretched before getting on the exerbicycle, I think I'll be trying to do that consistently in future.
My foot hurt less (plantar fasciitis AGAIN), and I believe it's because I pre-stretched. 22 minutes on the bicycle.

Nearly 2 months since I lifted with any regularity. *sigh* I've been getting 2 days of loving movement pretty reliably, with dance on Mondays and Yoga on Tuesdays, so I'm not in horrible shape, but I have specific muscles that are very very crunchy. I tried to work those specifically (various around the shoulder capsule, and pectorals, plus hip flexors and all these needed to open the hips). Still feel crunchy.

We'll see how I feel after dance tomorrow night and yoga on Tuesday.

I'm going to try to add Sundays reliably to the schedule, and after that, hopefully Thursdays. That would mean 4 days a week with significant exercise, if I can do this on a consistent basis.

Two days a week is not quite enough to make steady progress in strength and flexibility, HOWEVER...

... I did manage to put my foot WITH EASE onto the top bar of the stretching fence. Yup, my foot at shoulder height, easily, and stretching there felt strong, stable, and good.

that was friggin' COOL.
labelleizzy: (change things yourself)


It turns out to be a fairly big deal with my mental health & my thinking capacity if I go 5 hours without eating. Oy.

I also did get to the gym to do a little weightlifting (but it's been a month since I did that) so kept it brief and focused on the muscles supporting my surgery knee ( or both my knees, really)... good to get back to it. Knee has been twinging pretty good the last week or so.

I have checked in at the gym at least once a week since October 1, but that's not even enough to maintain the fitness improvement I developed while the physical therapy was underway. if it weren't for the Monday night dance class, I'd be losing ground even quicker...

need to go twice a week at least to gain fitness.

any suggestions wrt incentives?


labelleizzy: (yoga)
Yoga kicked my ass in a good way today (Tuesday though I'm posting after midnight), and helped me stretch out some of the delicious soreness from dancing for THREE HOURS yesterday. I win. And I feel really flexible, and my foot doesn't hurt

Body's still sore though.

I love my gym.
labelleizzy: (green path)
Hokay.

the plantar fasciitis is being a pain in my ...foot on too regular a basis.

So I go to look up causes and treatment. My doc had given me some basic information, and I've dealt with this before on the right-foot pre-knee-surgery.

One thing the online encyclopedias don't really mention is that overall muscle tension causes tension in the tendons/ligaments, the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon. Particularly, dense-tense calves and tight hamstrings tighten up and cause pain in the tendons. Nor do they point out that the #1 way to loosen tight muscles that are otherwise healthy is to exercise them to warm them up and then to stretch in slow, gentle, gradual ways. Argh.

The upside is that since I do know that, I am now heading to the gym to spend some time warming up and stretching my body. I want to keep going to Friday Night Waltz and I don't want to hurt when I dance, ergo, other exercise, other preparation is needed.

I can still reach much farther over my head than I have in years, and can touch my upper arm to my head. The last therapeutic massage has saved that in my body, I haven't regressed, thank $Deity. (I can reach the top pantry shelf without the stepstool!)

Didn't get to the gym this week, and again, body is hurting for that.

I'm going, I'm GOING!!
labelleizzy: (Default)
That thorough and detailed massage is paying off.
I can cross my legs, with ankle on knee, without the tension in my hips dragging my leg off my knee. That hasn't happened in years.
My calves are very very sore, both due to Danniel's myofascial work and the (possibly excessive?) amount of warming up and stretching that I did on the stairs after the massage.
I can touch my arm to my ear, even cold and un-warmed up as I am now, and I couldn't before that massage.

I do need to go back to the gym today, both from the must-continue-in-this-helpful-trend way and from the mood-lightening way. I am feeling pretty depressed and thin at the edges today, dried-out and not juicy at all.
Lonely. *shrug*
Struggling to get something new done on the job hunt front, though I think I have something interesting I can do to revamp my resume in a completely new way. I haven't done a complete structural redesign in ... well, since 2004. Okay.

I got stuff to do, and if I'm going to be lonesome anyway, I might as well be productive, too. That will at the least help in stomping the brain weasels, I can't be "useless" if I'm DOING stuff.

=/

Laterz.
labelleizzy: (asskicking)
Got my ass to the gym today, in spite of a variety of housecaring tasks to be done.

increased adductor/abductor from 60# to 70#, increased leg press to from 100# to 120#. 12 minutes of cardio on upright bicycle (all the ellipticals were busy. I had a sad.) What else? Did lots of arms/upper back work, pectorals, rowing... realized my left tricep and shoulder are tense/spasming... I wonder now if how I pull the seat belt has any influence on this problem, or if the chronic tension from my airline-cable neck muscle just migrated...something to do with other driving habits? Need to figure that out.

did some good stretching later, and spent several minutes playing on the bosu-balance-ball, doing hip work and practicing my balance-squats. 10 slow, steady squats down and up again there. Not as much wobbling as before, I think the stretching of hips and calves really helped stabilize my form.

And I kicked that ass that I got to the gym, sweating a little bit and everything, and I hurt less after than I hurt before I started... So, Go me.
labelleizzy: (stoutness)
Rockclimbing today, for the first time, with [livejournal.com profile] tshuma & [livejournal.com profile] bk2w. Of course I wasn't very good. But it was fun, and I practiced trusting my belay partner and sitting down on the rope to come off the wall. Hands and forearms a little sore. Possibly worse tomorrow, well, that's what vitamin I is for, innit.

Thursday I did something smart, got a sports massage then went and had a workout. The therapist dug into my airline-cable neck muscle in the right ways, also did work on tiny spinal muscles, shoulder muscles, and at the base of my spine, work of a quality that I've never had at Massage Envy before. I think I better enjoy this fellow while he's there, he's bound to find a better berth soon. But massage-and-workout was a fucking AMAZING combination; I'm less crunchy in so many ways than I have been in months.

And... now I've tried the climbing thing, I think I want to try it more. And just realized I've been wanting something more concrete than "going back to dancing" to train toward... I think that rockclimbing may provide the additional challenge and stimulation I need to get myself out to the gym as often as I need to do for authentic improvement.
labelleizzy: from lj user= angelbob (creative resourceful sane)


Today is day 5 post surgery and about a week since I've had a serious workout.
And ye GODS is the body complaining!
the hip muscles HURT, the hams are tight and short, quads hurt to stretch, I keep stretching arms and back, but it's not enough.

 

I wanted to go yesterday but the timing didn't work, and Jeff is on vacation so it is hard to leave him... it's lovely having him home, but he hasn't got a regular habit of movement yet, and can sit or lie on the bed for hours.  And I don't think I can do that anymore.

 

found myself lying in bed an hour ago, trying to stretch out the discomfort,  realizing I was feeling resentful. Resentful!  of my body! because it demands movement! I reminded myself that this is what I want. Not the discomfort, surely,  but to be moving regularly, to have a strong, ideally unbreakable habit of movement and strength. Such a strong habit that I can trust myself to take care of myself into my eldering.  I'm not there yet, not at 42, but the early signs are here. Silver hair, skin cancer, wrinkles. Thank the gods I'm still bleeding every month, I couldn't handle The Change atop everything else that's happened this year.

 

My body is undeniably stronger. What's also undeniable is that this habit of moving must be carried forward or I will suffer, risk backsliding,. and miss out on the chance to meet my goals.

 

They are important goals, goals of strength and independence and fun. Goals of self care and an ongoing ability to contribute in the world.
this is an ongoing "put on your oxygen mask before putting someone else's on."

 

This is non-negotiable. This WILL be done,
And the nice thing about this 100 things challenge is that I can use my Livejournal addiction to feed this new habit till it can take root and grow strongly to shape my life.

 

yay for healthy addiction?   =)




labelleizzy: (Not Afraid)
I've been napping a lot during the afternoons this week. I think the skin problem I'm currently dealing with may be the culprit, it recently got rather worse and is probably sapping my energies.

Am hoping to make it to the gym tomorrow. Picked up a couple more pairs of exercise sweatpant-dealies that should be cute and comfy. Looking less like a schlemiel when I go, when so many fitter ladies have cute coordinated outfits, will help me look forward to going.

I don't have any fear about going to the gym anymore. This was not the case when I last had a membership, something like 8-10 years ago. I was full of feelings that I was being judged, was worried people were staring, stuff like that. I was also judging myself. Lots. Feeling guilty and lots of should-have's.

I love that my life for the most part isn't full of fear anymore. My motivation does not come (or perhaps 10% instead of 90%) from fear. Wanting to be strong comes from a place of security and a desire to do what's necessary to plan for the future I want. I want to be a strong, flexible, vibrant old lady. Period.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I walked to work and back yesterday, my last day teaching (supervising) the choir class at the high school. Had a great chat with one of the ninth graders in the Womens Chorus. She challenged me to do something I've been saying I would do for a decade: join the ACLU. She has a point there. I also walked out on my errand to try and find a new pair of exercise pants at Target. Unfortunately that attempt was made of fail. BUT! but I did get a new package of cotton underwear! that fits! and doesn't have holes! and they are all blues and purples~!

such is my life that I am excited to spend <$10 for 6 pairs of cotton underwear. Heh. Feels a bit like pampering myself. And so, a fair bit of walking yesterday. Did not get to gym.

Going to gym today after shower & breakfast, flip laundry, start dishwasher, & library drop off. I'm really looking forward to it. Planning to ask the desk for one of the trainers to do an orientation on the machines so I can be sure I'm using correct form and to have an idea of the kind of challenge they think I can go with. I am probably not challenging myself *enough* to really build muscle mass, but I am challenging myself enough to warm up the muscles and get them and my joints to start to be flexible again. So I'll get some professional advice. =) Planning to spend about 2 hours there total, though I think I'm missing the window to try a class (today), I think it will be just right after two weeks off.

Medical TMI behind cut, or, why I can't yet use the pool at the gym, dammit )

I want to get to swimming. I really like swimming. So I am totally taking care of this detail both so I can swim and so I can get back to (ahem) other things as well. Heh.

This much said, time for my shower so I can go get brunch so I can finish my other errands and get my butt to the gym around 1 pm. Ought to ping [livejournal.com profile] angelkatharine and see if she'd like to meet me there.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I had a more cheerful post to write but don't remember what I was going to say...

So here's what I've got: Didn't walk to work today, took the car. Which feels a little meh. But I still feel better because Monday and Tuesday were two-mile roundtrip walks that I wouldn't have taken other wise.

Struggling to get my ass to get out and go to the gym. Hearing the little voice in my head about how it won't do any good anyway, you're still going to be fat and weak; stay home, read a book, have a beer.
Augh! Shut up little voice!

Just did 5 minutes of 5# weights in the bedroom; my neck and shoulders are tight. Think I'm going to repeat that after checking with the massage place to see if they have someone available tonight. Or tomorrow afternoon. I still have a boatload of massages saved up with them, it was more than 6 last I checked. I need to feel myself in my body more.

Okay, it's past time to set some goals and lay out some timelines.

I need a Horizon Goal, one or two BIG THINGS that I want to be able to do fitness wise, where I will know if I've achieved it. Today I've no idea what that looks like.

Brainstorming is obviously in order. What kind of wacky stuff would I *like* to be able to do?

  • I want to be able to throw myself at the ground... and miss. Not like Douglas Adams (alas) but like Judo. Or Aikido.
  • I want to be able to lift the filled carboys at home, not scooch them along the floor.
  • I kind of want to find a casual softball team. It's been friggin' YEARS since I played softball.
  • I want to spin poi.
  • I want to take belly dance lessons somewhere I'm not punished for being out of shape.
  • I want to audition for Big Moves and see what that's like.
  • And I want to go back to dancing with the Merrie Pryanksters at their dance practice. Enjoyed that at Mic's birthday party.


I can't yet go back, uninhibitedly, to ballroom. I'm short of 6 months post surgery, and my lack of practicing my PT exercises has let me get out of shape like whoa.

Okay.

Just three things, now.

Going to phone the massage place, and going to set a timer to do *something* physically taxing for 15 minutes. And I'll go get a start on dinner. That much I can do.

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