Thursday, December 30, 2010

All I Know

So 2010 is coming to a close...just one day left...

This, for me, has been a big year of change...change in my body, change in my health, change in my outlook, change in what I think I can do, change in what I KNOW I can do.

In the 10 months I have spent changing, I have learned a few things...and many are things I should have learned long ago.

So what have I learned?

I'll share it with you...not because I am some sort of health or weight-loss guru, but maybe there is something in what I have learned that you can use for your own life.

And I know a lot of us set resolutions this time of year, so this might just help one or two of you get there...

My body can do more than my mind thinks it can.

The first time I stepped on to the elliptical machine I thought there was no way I could last 10 minutes. But I shut my brain off and went for an hour. The first time I stepped back into a spin class I thought I would only make it for 15 minutes---I did the whole class. Again, it was not letting my brain tell me that I was done. Today when I didn't think I could run one more step pulling my trainer along, he told me I could do it and I did...he constantly tells me "mind over matter" but what he is REALLY saying is that I just need to let my body do what it can and not let my thinking get in the way. My body is far more capable than what I give it credit for.

Nothing tastes as good as thin...or healthy...

Today I wanted a cookie. I wanted ice cream. I wanted a lot of bad things. But then I remembered how hard I worked with Dimples and realized it wasn't worth it. Because as tasty as the cookie is, it wasn't worth 10 minutes of hard work with Dimples when I could eat an apple instead.

I honestly do not miss french fries and hamburgers and Cane's chicken but I do miss Fuzzy's pizza.

So if I cheat...I eat the Fuzzy's. Because I don't miss the other stuff and so why do it. Lesson to others: if there is a food you really love, cheat with that, have a love affair with that...don't cheat with a food that is a "fling"...if you don't love it, don't do it. I also cheat with Crave Cupcakes...I have had a 2-year relationship with their Strawberry cupcakes (and I cheat on the strawberry ones with the candy bar ones) so if I am offered one and I have been a good girl, I eat it. I've had exactly 3 in the last 10 months...not bad...not bad at all...

I love wine. I am not cheating with wine...and a few glasses a week will not hurt me and might even be good for me.

Just read my "Red Red Wine" says it all. Best 150 calories of my day sometimes...

You will work harder and more efficiently if you wear a heart monitor.

You can spend $50-$150 on one. Buy the one that fits your budget and wear it every time you work out. Dimples had me buy a "Polar" one. I like mine because it has a recording feature so I can record each session and it will keep track of how many minutes I have worked out and calories burned. It is particularly useful because I can show him (Dimples) what I have done when I am not working with him. It pushes me harder...and it makes him push me harder.

Don't believe the calorie's burned amounts on the machines at the gym.

They lie.
Wear a heart monitor. It doesn't lie.
One of the trainers at the Racquet Club pointed out to me that you can turn the treadmill on and it will start a calorie count even if you don't step on

The only way to lose weight is to eat less and better quality food and exercise.

That's it. No magic pills. No "easy button". You just have to eat right and move your body.
It's simple math---you have to put in less calories and put out (burn) more calories.
And no, you can't go for a 45 minute walk and then eat a plate of enchiladas and expect to lose any weight.

If you put off going to the gym, you won't go...

I find that unless I plan and know I am going at a later time (like meeting Dimples at 2:30 or going to Body Pump at 6:00 pm), I could easily procrastinate myself out of a workout. If you don't work, drop the kids off and go straight to the gym or your workout. If you work, put your gym bag in your car and go straight there---if you go home you will be distracted and not go.

You have to figure out what kind of exercise you like so you will do it.

I hate to run...I am still trying to find my love for it. I told Dimples today that I didn't think I was ever going to like running and he said "ok, but it gets your heart rate up and we are only doing it for a few minutes" and that made it all better. Because I don't want to run for 45 minutes but I WILL SPIN for 45 minutes without argument. So you find what you like. Try different classes, try different machines. I don't like the treadmill but I DO like the Arc Trainer and the elliptical. I don't like Pilates but I DO like spin and Body Pump. I have friends who HATE Body Pump and love the machines at the club...I hate the weight machines and I hate doing them. Different strokes...

So find what you like and do that. Vary it up so you don't get bored. But if you hate the treadmill and that is all you do, you will never enjoy your workout. Try everything...think of the gym as a buffet and give it all a taste.

But you need to try something more than once...

Maybe what you didn't like about spin or Pilates was the instructor, not the class. There are spin instructors who I adore as people but can't stand their spin classes. And I love J'taime Jamie's Body Pump and Spin classes but Pilates I can take or leave...I only take it when she or JayVee teach and if I really feel like it. So if you take a class and don't enjoy it...try it at least one more time with a different instructor or different time of day (maybe doing Pilates in the afternoon won't work for you but in the morning you would enjoy the stretch).

I did not like the Arc Trainer the first time I tried it, but I kept after it and started with 10 minutes and added 5 minutes every few days and soon it became my one-hour cardio workout. I do the treadmill all the time and I still hate it...but I do it.

Vary your intensity if you are using a cardio machine.

Dimples has me change the incline and speed constantly on the treadmill. He told me to do the same with the othe machines. So mix it up...go hard and fast for a minute or two and then back off a bit. Keep your heartrate up and challenged.

If you read or watch tv while working out, you aren't working hard enough...

Wear your heart monitor...try 1/2 your workout reading your magazine or watching "The View" (although Joy Behar does get my heart and blood pressure going). Then turn it off or close the magazine/book/eReader and go at it. You will work harder without the distraction. Try it...more than once...see if I am right. If you can do all your workouts reading "People" or watching "The Today Show" and work as hard as you do without it, I will take you to lunch...but you have to do it more than once and use the heart monitor to prove it. I know I am right about this one...

The exception to that: music...

I know, I know...I am a music freak. I love my music. Heck, my blogs are all named for songs! But...whether you realize it or not, if you play music your body will want to move to the beat. You WILL speed up during faster songs. On the slow songs, put on all the tension you can (if you are on a cardio machine) and climb hard. If you are running or walking, try and go double time to the beat.

The other exception to spin

Spinderella plays videos for us when we spin...but we don't listen to it, we listen to music and she gives us a good hard beat to ride to and tells us how fast and hard to go. So while we watch "Mamma Mia" we ride hard and fast to music the whole time. It works...

Get a trainer...

I know, I totally love my Dimples. He's awesome. I told him so today. But working out with him is fun and he told me today he has fun too. I am a handful so I guess he has to enjoy it or he would fire me as a client. But I don't just love and adore him because he is sweet and those dimples are more than a little cute (he is a pretty pretty man), I love and adore him because he is so good at keeping me moving and working and having fun while doing it. I had to try a few trainers before I found my fit...and he fits me. He might not be for everyone, but it totally works for me and my OCD and ADD. Watch the trainers at your gym while they work with to them when they are not busy. Find a you want a gentle lamb or a drill sargeant? There is no right answer except that you find who works for you. This also applies to group exercise instructors (see above). I have my girls I love love love...and I take all their classes because I like their style and music choices and how they pace their classes.

So why hire a trainer? Because you WILL work harder. Or at least hire one a few times to get you started. But if you find a fit, you will WANT to work with your trainer. Do what your pocketbook will let you. For me, it is a priority so I give up other stuff to have my Dimples time. And he is sooooooooo worth it. Not just 'cause he's pretty to look at...but it doesn't hurt...But mostly it is because he works me harder than I do myself and he is making me stronger and healthier with each workout. Yes, I <3 my Dimples each time I put on a smaller top or someone says "you are really looking good"...just in the time I have worked with him my body has changed a lot even if my weight hasn't made a huge leap...but it will... Ice works.

If you hurt, apply ice. It helps. Sore muscles might keep you from working I ice my sore muscles and it makes a difference. When I don't, I hurt.

Advil works.

Advil and wine work extra good...

Hot baths work.

Put in some epsom salts. Pour glass of wine and bring to tub with you (no glass safe!). Soak. Repeat often...

Drink water.

Do I need to explain that one? I didn't think so...

Take a day off...but don't take a week off...

I have to talk myself into days off. Dimples has to order me to take days off. But you don't want your body to break down so you have to let it rest. But if you take too much time off, you get out of the habit...

Set Goals.

But don't set unrealistic goals. Dimples reminds me all the time that they pyramids were not built in a day so I can't expect all this to change overnight. So we take it slowly. I set small goals. I have a big goal but I focus on the little ones. So don't say "I will lose 10 pounds by February"...say "I will lose 10 pounds. I will lose 2-4 pounds in January and then the rest...".

Reward yourself.

Not with food. Reward yourself when you reach goals with GOOD things...a new outfit, a handbag, A massage or pedicure. A new haircut. Treat your body with the reward...make yourself look as good as you feel.

Wear comfortable clothes when you workout or train.

That means find some stuff that doesn't bind, itch, or ride up on you. If you aren't comfortable, you will be distracted.

Make yourself and your health a priority.

I ignored myself and my health for 5 years. I let myself go. I took care of everyone else but myself. Now I still take care of others (that is how I snagged Dimples and you all know how much I love working with the kids at the middle school...that is my passion), but I make time for myself. I am lucky, my job at the school is not a real job but something I volunteer to do so I can go in, do what I need to do and leave...and GOTT and TTG push me out the door when I tell them I have a spin class...they are uber supportive (lucky me!)and I know that I do better at helping them because I feel better.

YOU deserve to take time to make yourself feel better and healthy. Do it. Just do it.

Well, for now that is about all I know...well, not really, and I don't know all that much but these are some things I have learned along this road I am on.

And now my contacts are driving me nuts so I am going to end this blog and go take them out!!!!!!

Inspiration Song: "All I Know" by Art Garfunkel. Yes, Art Garfunkel. It is a beautiful song that I have always loved. He sings it one does it better. I love you and that's all I know...

Bye Darlings...let me know what you know...I love to share!

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