If This Were Easy…


More Swimming Lessons Stuff

Filed under: health — Easy @ 10:26 pm

Because if I posted about ticky marks or what I was eating, I’d just get sad.

So, more from swimming lessons.

Today I managed to swim some 29/32 down and back laps with kicking, which are *excellent* numbers for me. 29 isn’t my best ever single lap (that’s 27ish), but 1:01 might be my best ever double lap.

Of course, I was swimming straight pairs with a lot of heavy breathing in between, which is sort of a problem. On the one hand, it’s good that I can now swim just as fast while kicking as while not kicking, but it’s still taking me a lot more effort to do it than it would if I was swimming arms only.

Also, in case you’re curious, here’s the weight circuit Katya gave me for days when I don’t see her. Yes, I have no upper body strength.



Conversations with myself:

Filed under: health — Easy @ 6:20 pm

Sunday, 7:20AM: Oh, god, is that my alarm? Already. It’s not been long enough. Want sleep. Should get up now, so I have time to shower before I go to aquafit class, since hair too greasy to go out in public as is.
Sunday, 7:25AM: Much, much too tired to get up early for something like a shower. Will go to gym later.
Sunday, 7:30AM: No. No shower. No aquafit class. No. Sleep.
Sunday, 8:00AM: Sigh. Sleep! Sleep! Not laying here awake wishing I were sleeping.
Sunday, 8:15AM: Alright, I’m getting up already. Fine. I guess I’ll have a shower now anyway, since it’s freezing in here. But I feel like shit, so I’m still not going to aquafit class.
Sunday, 8:45AM: All showered. Still feeling like shit. So not going to aquafit class. Can go to the gym after the cookie exchange if I’m feeling up to it. (Like that’s going to happen, but I just need to convince myself it will for another 15 minutes and I won’t have to go to aquafit class.)
Sunday, 8:57AM: Hrmm, I feel much better now. That’s good.
Sunday, 8:58AM: Oh fuck. Now I’m showered and feeling better and I still have half an hour before aquafit class.
Sunday, 9:30AM: Grr. Aquafit class.

Sometimes, life just conspires against you. Or for you. Or whatever it was doing. Stupid life.


General Update and Whininess

Filed under: health — Easy @ 8:31 pm

So, I didn’t gain any weight while I was in California. I think we can all agree on ‘Go, me!’ over that. I didn’t lose any, either, but that was never going to happen.

The ongoing saga of aquafit now sits at this:

— Aquafit instructor constantly late, wants to move class to later. Boo!
— New Aquafit class added on Wednesday, and given to tardy instructor, thus getting her out of my schedule, since I train on Wednesdays anyway. Yay!
— New Aquafit class on Wednesday cancelled, thus returning tardy instructor to Thursdays. Boo!
— Pool is being closed entirely and permanently effective December 15th. OMGWTFBBQ!

I am not okay with this. I spend 4 days a week in the pool — 3 aquafit classes, 1 day of swimming. And the one day of swimming is the only exercise I get that I actually enjoy.

I am going to try to void my contract over this, but then the problem becomes where do I go from here? There are other gyms in this area that have pools, but I’m rapidly running out of time to sign 1 year gym contracts, given that about a year from now, I plan to be living a hell of a long way from here. I also have 30-some-odd personal training sessions left that I’ve pre-paid for at this gym, and much as I rag on her a bit, I like my trainer, and I don’t particularly want to go find someone else.

I’m finding this really, really hard to take. Like, spent most of today’s aquafit class trying not to cry hard to take. It’s really not been easy for me to make working out part of my life, and I’m not sure my commitment will survive this.


Tears rained down…

Filed under: health — Easy @ 12:31 pm

Okay, so they didn’t so much rain as water slightly until I wiped my face with a towel, but I was definitely crying at the gym today, and Katya felt really bad about it.

I didn’t hurt myself or even over-exert myself, but I’m always slightly afraid of falling down, and doing squats on top of a bosu ball was only very slightly likely to work.

We started out trying to do them with the platform side down, which is a little more stable, but I couldn’t get my feet into a position where I didn’t feel like I was going to turn my ankles. So then we tried doing them platform side up, and I was able to do the squats, but when it came time to get off the ball, I couldn’t find a way to do it that didn’t make me feel like it was going to tip over and I was going to fall and hurt myself and embarrass myself in front of the whole gym.

And I ended up afraid, and embarrassed, and embarrassed about being afraid, and afraid of being embarrassed, and it was all bad. So when I finally did manage to get my feet back on the floor, I was blinking back tears. Katya clearly felt horrible about that, but it’s not really her fault. She couldn’t know how much I’m afraid of falling nor that I’d be able to do the exercise itself and then flub the dismount.

Still, I don’t think we’ll be doing that one again, ever.


More on Aquafit scheduling

Filed under: health — Easy @ 10:39 am

So, Stephanie, who is the scheduler of all fitness classes at the gym also teaches Tuesday Aquafit. And as she often is, she was late.

So, at the end of class, she was talking about how she’s managed to convince the gym manager to add another morning aquafit class to Wednesdays, starting after the long weekend. So someone else brought up Nicole’s idea about moving her Thursday class to 9:45 or 10 because Nicole can’t make it to work on time.

Stephanie thought that sounded like a great idea, and I think now she’s probably going to move all the morning Aquafit classes to 9:45 so GRRRR to that.

But even more GRRRRRRRRRR to the fact that on the way out of the pool, one of the other class members mentioned that a couple of years ago, all of these classes started at 9:00. But the instructors were always late, so they moved them to 9:15, so they didn’t have to leave right during rush hour to get there. But the instructors were always late, so they moved them to 9:30, so that rush hour was pretty definitely over by the time they had to leave. And now they’re proposing to move them to 9:45.

It seems pretty clear to me that the problem here is not with the time that the Aquafit classes are scheduled for and that moving them is thus not going to be much of a solution.


In which your hero pisses off her entire Aquafit class at once…

Filed under: health — Easy @ 5:34 pm

So, in an entirely unsurprising turn of events, given that Aquafit instructors at my gym are routinely late, today, our Aquafit instructor was late.

Very, very late.

She apparently can’t get their any earlier because she has commitments elsewhere earlier in the morning and traffic is just so horrendous that she can’t possible arrive in time for class. So then she wanted to know how we felt about rescheduling the class until 10AM.

I pointed out that that would not be acceptable for me, that 9:30 is already later than I’m really comfortable with, and that if she does so, I would have to stop taking the class. Based on the collective reaction to that comment, I can only assume that while I was making it, I unknowingly kicked a puppy.

In my defense, I don’t think puppies belong in swimming pools.

Then, as we were arguing, I pointed out that I am not a morning person, but that I bust my ass to get to class on time every morning so I’m not so disrespectful as to interrupt the instructor’s class and that it’s not entirely unreasonable for me to expect the same consideration from the instructor. The ‘unlike half the people in this class who show up whenever the fuck they want to’ was apparently sufficiently strongly implied that it didn’t sail over people’s heads, so that didn’t win me any friends.

So now I am the class pariah. Which is fine with me, I was the class pariah before this all started, too, because I don’t stand around and talk in Russian, on account of a) I don’t drag my ass out of bed and to the gym every morning in order to stand around and chat and b) I don’t speak Russian.

I guess, given the choice between them moving the class to 10AM and having it start on time, and leaving the class at 9:30 and not having it start on time, I’d rather they moved it. Then I can just admit that the class is not at a time that works with my schedule and find something else to do on Thursdays. It would be too bad, because I actually think the class, which is stretching focused, is valuable, and it also counts as a sort of rest day, since it’s got no real cardio or strength components, and replacing it with some other form of exercise will not fit quite so well with the rest of my schedule, but I’ll cope.



Filed under: health — Easy @ 4:37 pm

I forgot my iPod at home today, so I had to make my workout marginally interesting all on its own.

I decided to do 100 calories on each of the elliptical, treadmill and bike. I considered adding another hundred on the stairstepper, but after 18 calories — which took less than a minute, so at least 100 calories on the stepper would have been fast! — both me and the stepper wanted to die.

It took 7:39 to burn 100 calories on the elliptical, 11:30 on the treadmill and 15:56 on the bike. What I really need, though, is a source of cardio which does not rely heavily on my thighs, because they are cranky and overworked.

Swimming is sort of that workout, but I don’t think it really gets my heartrate up that much, and I can’t do it much faster than I already do or I end up inhaling water, which is different from drowning only as a matter of degree.


Apparently I swim very, very slowly

Filed under: health — Easy @ 11:29 am

I swam half a kilometer today, in half an hour. That included a few minutes of rest, but it was mainly swimming — 5 sets of 4 laps, with each lap being 25 meters. That’s about 18 yards per minute or so. If you figure I was probably only actually swimming for 22 or 23 of those minutes, you can get it up near 25 yards per minute.

I looked up swimming in the Daily Plate activity log and it counts ‘moderate’ swimming as 50 yards per minute.



Filed under: health — Easy @ 12:55 pm

I was doing leg lifts at the gym today, and I started out laying on my left side, lifting my right leg, and while I got kind of tired towards the end, I managed to struggle through 15 lifts.

Then I rolled over and did the other side, and could barely manage the first one. I struggled and struggled and eventually pulled off 10 of them, but it was a bitch and a half.

I know that I’m right-leg dominant, but I’d have never have guessed it would have that obvious an effect.


Training Notes

Filed under: health, metapost — Easy @ 6:18 pm

I went in for my training session today, and my back gave me surprisingly little trouble. I could feel it, but it didn’t hurt, it was just sort of there in the background.

According to Katya, I am much more flexible than she would have expected (“for someone of my size” went unspoken) and also did many more exercises with many fewer breaks today than last week. It’s kind of weird, actually, that I have no idea. I was always acutely aware of my reps at Curves, even though you’re not supposed to count them, but with the trainer, counting reps is her thing, so I just do what I’m told.

She’s got a pretty good sense of what I can manage as a set — I’m often just barely able to pull off the last rep or two, but with one exception, I was able to make it through everything she threw at me without stopping to breathe. I did have to stop a few times between exercises — in particular when she did two things that involved my arms above my head in a row — but not so much in the middle of a set.



Filed under: health — Easy @ 5:00 pm

So, last week, I managed to get to the gym every day right up until Friday. Then, Friday night, my back got very, very angry about all the gym going and decided to stop functioning.

Actually, I have no idea if that’s what caused it, but jesus, did it hurt. So, no gym on Saturday.

Today, I did go to AquaFit, but no one else did, so I got a one-on-one water stretching session with the instructor, who did my back a whole bunch of good. Then I went to BulkBarn and wrecked it all again by slipping on the wet floor, but at least it’s not as bad as it was on Friday.

I’ve been doing some stretches through the day, so hopefully that’ll help. Tomorrow, I’ll ask my trainer to focus again on stretching and things I can do with the sore back.


Training Day

Filed under: health — Easy @ 6:37 pm

So I met with my personal trainer, she of the many exclamation points, for those of you who saw that email and she is indeed, cheerful and bubbly. But that’s okay, one of us really has to be.

We did an hour weight lifty type things, except it was not so much with actually lifting weights and more with just lifting my own weight, which was, for most purposes, more than sufficient resistance all on its own.

My balance is really terrible, apparently, which is kind of making me rethink the possibility of taking a yoga class, since I’d probably fall down and hurt myself. I might give it a try in a few weeks when I’m feeling a little more confident.

Right now, my probable schedule is:

Monday — Trainer
Tuesday — Aquafit
Wednesday — Trainer
Thursday — Aquafit
Friday — Lap Swimming or Cardio machines
Saturday — Go for a walk
Sunday — Aquafit

On the one hand, I don’t want to overdo things, but on the other hand, even when I was walking 2 days on, 1 day off, I found the first day after the day off really hard. I think just doing something every day will eventually be easier and less annoying than trying to get in and out of the groove.


New Gym

Filed under: health — Easy @ 12:40 pm

As you might have figured from my last blog entry, I’ve joined a new gym.

It’s Strictly Fitness at Dufferin & Finch, and I picked it for having a pool and being less than a 10 minute drive from my house.

I’ve also signed up for 50 personal training sessions. Because I’m dedicated. Or crazy.

I was a little concerned about joining a real gym, and being surrounded by skinny bitches or men who take a lot of protein supplements, but while I was sitting and waiting for the sales guy to take me into the gym, I kept a tally of people walking in and out, and I counted 8 old people, 3 skinny bitches, 4 protein supplement guys, and 3 fairly average sized guys. There were no other youngish overweight women, which was a little disconcerting, but hey, it was a small sample size.

What actually sold me on the place, though, far more than the salesman, who lacks a certain element of sales skills, was that while I was waiting, an older woman (maybe 60ish?) sat down beside me on the couch. And 3 different people, 2 protein supplement guys and one skinny bitch, made a point of saying goodbye to her on their way out of the gym. If the protein supplement guys go out of their way to be nice to the old people, the environment can’t be all hardcore.

I went to an aquafit class today, and it was a pretty good, though not great class. The pool isn’t particularly deep, so I’ll have to work around that a bit, but it was a good workout.



Filed under: diet, tracking, walking, water — Easy @ 9:48 pm

I haven’t been updating this journal in awhile, partly because I have a new blog that’s sucking up my time and attention, and partly because I’m just frustrated with this whole side of my life. I don’t feel like things are getting better, I don’t feel like I have any part of anything under control, and the whole thing just makes me want to pound my head against things.

I keep wanting to add new things (or, rather, old things back in), but I can’t even get my shit together to do the three things that are currently on my list — walking, water and charting my calories.

I’ve been getting my three glasses of water most days, but some days it is only two, and often those come late at night when I already feel dehydrated, and I’m not tracking it, so I couldn’t say for sure how many days it is of each. I haven’t been tracking my calories or measuring my food.

I have been walking, most of the days I’m supposed to — though not yesterday since there just wasn’t time other than in the heat of the day, and I had already spent an hour and a half on my feet at the farmer’s market anyway — but it’s really not going well. I seem to make it okay through the first lap around the house, but the second lap is constantly bringing with it problems — I can’t breathe or my feet cramp up or my sides cramp up or something. I don’t think I’ve made it properly all the way through any of my last 5 or 6 walks, and it’s pissing me off.

Add to that I just feel fatter than ever, even if I’m still hovering around 350, and I’m just not happy. I went to a plus-sized clothing swap today, and nobody wanted any of my stuff, because my skinny clothes from when I lost weight a few years back were too big for all the other women there. That was depressing. Even if I lose all the weight I’ve gained in the last 5 years, I’ll still be the fattest person I know.


Some days, I tell you.


The gods must be crazy…

Filed under: health, walking — Easy @ 9:06 pm

I had pretty much decided that I was not going out for a walk tonight. It was dark, it was raining, and I was feeling pretty nastily ill. It was pretty much the trifecta of suck. I mean, dark and raining, I’ve done. Dark and miserable I’ve done. Raining and miserable I could probably handle. But all three? That was just asking for too much.

So, I sat here, and I made my decision. I was not going out for a walk tonight. I would make it up tomorrow, but I would not drag my miserable ass out into a dark and stormy night just to prove a point.

About 30 seconds later, it stopped raining.

I guess someone was planning on proving a point tonight, even if it wasn’t me.

So I schlepped my ass outside and I walked. It wasn’t my best walk ever — about a minute and a half off my best 2+ lap time, from Monday — but it wasn’t even close to my worst, either. And now it’s done.

And I still feel like ass, but at least I feel like responsible, exercising ass, instead of couch potato ass.


Moving along…

Filed under: health, walking — Easy @ 8:27 am

I’m still having a lot of trouble with my shins and ankles when I walk, but less so when I do it on a day of rest. Saturday, I ended up hobbling through the second lap, then Sunday was a rest day, and yesterday, I managed my best distance ever with very little pain at all, despite heavily using my arms to keep my heartrate up. I think I’m going to switch to a schedule with more rest days in it and see if that helps.

There are two workouts — speed ladder and power walk, so I figure to start with 2 days on, one day off and see how that goes. If all seems okay in a week or two, I’ll move up 3 days on, two days off and see if that’s okay, etc. My hope is that I’ll build enough strength in my legs as I build up my non-rest days that I’ll be able to get rid of the pain problem without enduring anymore actual pain.

I do see a noticeable improvement in my cardio fitness, though the big test was Sunday, when I schlepped myself and a bag of games up the stairs at the Yellow Griffin. I was hoping my new workoutness would have allowed me to do that and still breathe when I reached the top, but alas, no. I felt like maybe I was less out of breath than usual, but I was still out of breath.

I’m also seeing much improvement on the strength training parts of the workout, with better form and more ability to do the reps straight through instead of stopping to breath in the middle. I pushed this maybe a little too far and almost caused an asthma attack last night — I could feel that characteristic tightening in my lungs, but didn’t cough more than once or twice — but it’s nice to be seeing visible improvement there.


Today’s walk had to be aborted…

Filed under: health, walking — Easy @ 7:50 pm

…on account of pain.

I got off to a slow start, because I forgot to close the garage door, and then I got caught behind a car backing out of a driveway, and then my neighbour stopped me to say ‘you go girl!’ and all of that meant that when I hit my Intensity 7 section of the workout, I was headed down a grade.

Trying to pump up my heart rate while walking downhill proved disastrous for my shins, and by the time I was finished that three minute section, I was pretty much done for. I hobbled back to the house and am now waiting for the tylenol to kick in.

It’s very interesting (not to mention painful) to me that my legs are giving out before my lungs. I’ve been asthmatic it seems like forever, and had so much trouble breathing, that I’ve always assumed my breathing would be what let me down, but in this case it’s definitely not. I can get myself all breathless, but I have to actually work at it, because my legs just don’t want to move that fast.

I have recently determined that a big part of the difference between my early distances covered and my more recent distances has been whether I’ve got my arms bent up or are letting them hang. I think I’m going to need to start working my arms as a much bigger part of my workout in order to get my cardio intensity up (already becoming harder, as I get more used to this) while not stressing my legs so much.

Overall, I think this is a good thing. My asthma attacks are scary things to behold sometimes, and I’d much rather not have one, so it’s great that I’m able to breath through all of this. I could do with less actual pain, though.


Encouragement and Discouragement

Filed under: walking — Easy @ 6:24 pm

On the one hand, the woman at Running Room was very encouraging when I went to buy socks last night. She said it was excellent that I had gone walking, even in the rain, and was generally very upbeat on the whole thing.

On the other hand, she asked me if I was walking further each day, and that’s where I’m feeling discouraged. Maybe a week is too soon to see any kind of improvements, but I feel like I’m working harder every day, and yet I’m walking less distance every day, as well. Today, only 3400 steps in half an hour.

I’m not sure if this is just pedometer wackiness, but I don’t think I make it as far around the block, either. It’s kind of bumming me out. Not enough to stop walking, but still. Bummed.

On the plus side, I passed a nice old lady while I was walking today who, I believe, said “Good for you!” and smiled at me. Of course, I had my iPod going at high volume, so she could have said “Get the fuck out of my way!” too.

But she probably wouldn’t have been smiling.


On a less positive note…

Filed under: walking — Easy @ 11:08 am

I actually appear to have gained 2lbs this week.

I’m trying not to be depressed by that.

Also trying to keep in mind that I ate most of my meals out this week, which is why.


Filed under: walking — Easy @ 10:29 am

That’s the total number of steps I walked in the first 6 days of my program. That includes non-program walking on some of those days (it looks like I didn’t wear my pedometer the rest of Thursday, since that number is very low). It’s nowhere near the 60,000 steps that are recommended by those 10K steps a day plans, but it’s a lot more than I’m sure would have registered the week before.

Looking back from my day of rest, I’m feeling pretty good about things.

I walked in the rain (twice) and in pain, and I even ended up doing my strength training last thing before bed, but I did do everything I was supposed to.

It was hard to do the strength exercises with correct form, because my own fatness (and my excess of furniture) got in the way, but I did them as well as I could under the circumstances.

I often felt like I was on the verge of pushing myself into an asthma attack, but I didn’t have a single one throughout the week, and my breathing recovered, if not quickly, then at least before I finished my cooldown, even on the hardest legs of the speed ladder.

I’m feeling relatively little pain this morning, despite having walked more yesterday than any other day, since I did both my walking exercise and went shopping on Queen West, which, while not done at the same pace as the walk, did cover the same distance.

Today is supposed to be ‘active rest’ and I have a board game thing to go to anyway, so I’ll mostly be sitting and not being active, but if I have time later, I’m going to try the pace marker on my pedometer and see if I can get a better sense of what my pace should be in different phases of walking, so I can have a better idea of whether I’m pushing myself more or less from day to day.

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