Tag Archives: workout 2018

Workout 2018: Working Out is a Hoax

About 18 months ago, I started gaining weight rapidly, like a half pound a day. I’d gain 2-3 pounds, and then it would plateau long enough to give me time to come to terms with it. My eating and exercise habits hadn’t changed. Then I’d gain more. Eventually, I was up about 15 pounds. That may not seem like a lot, but I’m short, so everything shows up.

Last November, I made a point of recording a workout diary. Since this a blind blog (no readers,) these posts are mostly for me. I’d actually been working out since October, when my doctor diagnosed me with low blood pressure. It turned out that low blood pressure was just as bad as high blood pressure. Now that I’m wearing compression socks (and making some bold fashion statements,) I have energy, my hair isn’t falling out, my oral health is better, and my heart isn’t doing weird things anymore. Oh, and I don’t swell up, get nauseous, or pass out when I’m physically active. That’s always a bonus.

Despite doing some serious aerobics and weight training faithfully for months, I lost no weight. Yes, I moderated my diet. I ate three small meals a day, and I had two small snacks (like an apple or piece of Dove chocolate. I’ve never been a big eater. My wife openly worried for my  health because she didn’t think I was eating enough.

I felt good. My ass tightened up. My weight stayed the same.

Desperate, I even utilized my accidental fall-back plan. Years ago, at my peak weight, I lost 30 pounds by taking Claritin-D. It’s not a diet med, but it speeds up my metabolism and takes away my appetite. Also, I don’t sleep, so I found I could only take half of one.

It didn’t help.

Fast forward to the past two weeks. Since summer vacation has started, I’ve been going for walks outside instead of hitting the gym, and I’ve been binge-watching House and The Closer like a boss. And I cut my Claritin-D intake down to a quarter tablet, mostly because I like to sleep, and yet I have the snotty allergies.

In the past two weeks, I’ve lost 6 pounds. It’s mostly fat. I can tell because my fat areas are thinner. Like magic, the weight is melting off. Eating healthy and working out didn’t help, but walking my dog and having popcorn for dinner while watching Brenda Lee close another case did the trick.

Or was it just hormones? I don’t know, but I’ll be happy to get back into some of my nicer work clothes this fall.

Workout 2018 Volume 10: In Which I Feel Great

Obligatory disclaimer: This record is for me. So far, it has been enough for me to cut back on the chocolate and keep going to the gym.

 

Day ???: I’m ready to give up. Not on working out, because I actually feel better and my wife is great about doing this with me. I’m thinking 2018 will be my last year for new releases. Sales are way down (80% drop,) and I’m weighing the cost of time spent writing/away from my family vs. income gained. So basically I’m just getting in shape and wrestling with the “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” question. Right now, I have no plans for anything new after this fall. I’ll re-release Awakenings in 2019 once I get the rights back. Then what? I seriously have no idea.

~MZ

 

Workout 2018 Volume 9: I have not given up yet!

Again, this is for me, encouragement to keep up my workout regimen. Usually I quit working out after I get sick, but this time I’m still going strong! I want to tentatively say that I’m down a pound. Here’s hoping I don’t gain it back.

Day 48: Nothing. Sad day. I lost a family member.

Day 49: I’m up to 50 minutes of aerobic exercise. I’m varying the incline and resistance to get a better workout. After 17 minutes on the treadmill, my legs swelled up and itched. Instead of going home, I took a brief break and went for the elliptical. Good call, because I the swelling went away.

The cutest couple came in while I was on the elliptical. They got on treadmills in the row in front of me. They were larger people, and I’m guessing they decided to get in shape together. Anyway, they were so inspirational. They kept tapping each other each time one of them increased their pace. The other would look over, smile, and give a thumbs-up. They kept doing this for at least the last ten minutes I was there. I loved their energy and enthusiasm. It was catchy, and they kept me going. I only stopped because Wife said it was time to go.

Day 50: Yoga, bitches! I did a challenging workout, and I was up to the challenge. Today’s workout featured upward-facing plank. I’m usually okay with my hands pointed toward my ass, but when I have to point them away from my body, that’s when I run into issues. Not today. I’m getting stronger, and I’m able to hold poses for a lot longer. No trembling or pain today, except a little in my wrists. I have tiny, skinny wrists that were meant for a petite person’s body. I have an average build not a petite one. I guess nobody sent the memo to my wrists. Ah, well. Nevertheless, I persisted!

Day 51: Family time. My parents are up for the funeral. So sad.

Day 52: 17 min on the treadmill, and my entire lower half starts itching. Did weights (not a lot–I’m a wimp) and then 30 min on the treadmill. A political survey company called (my music is on my cell) and ruined my rhythm. I spent the next ten minutes have nasty conversations with them in my head. IRL, I hung up and put Wang Chung back on. Everybody Have Fun Tonight.

Day 53: Twin #1 made me walk around the track with her, which was great until she stuck her headphones in and abandoned me to run. I’m not a runner. So I went downstairs to the fitness room and did 30 min on the elliptical. I ended on the machines that let me work on weaker leg muscles so that my knee stops hurting.

RANT WARNING–There are sanitary wet wipe dispensers all over the fucking place. Why are women the worst when it comes to wiping down equipment? I got on a machine after another person–a woman, and she left a trail of sweat dripping down the backrest. She just walked away. Afterward, Twin #1 said the woman did the same thing with at least 2 other machines. And then she said the woman had been her elementary art teacher. As a woman, I want to remind all the other women that being female doesn’t mean you get to be an asshole. Wipe down the machines when you finish. Open doors for people. Move out of the way when someone coming in your direction is carrying something. I see men do this all the time, and frankly it’s maddening to see all these women who feel like they are entitled. You know what? EVERYBODY is entitled to be treated with respect. Use your fucking manners!

Day 54-55: Wife had surgery, so I’ve been taking care of her.

Day 56: Elliptical, weight machines

Day 57: I finished writing a short novel.

Day 58: Elliptical, weight machines.

My overall weight is down, and my pants aren’t as tight. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without giving up on working out!

Workout 2018 Volume 8: On my way to a better me…hopefully

My workout diary. This is pretty much for me and not anyone else.

Day 38: My sister came over and my stomach rebelled. These events are not related, but both kept me from working out.

Day 39: I did not take an Airborne, which was what seemed to have caused my “issues.” I came home from work and knocked off some serious yoga. By serious, I mean that some of my muscles hurt. Yay, pain.

Day 40: I have no excuse except laziness. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end. Wife said she’d make me go to the fitness center tomorrow, so there’s that.

Day 41-44: I have a freaking cold, a bad one. No working out. On the plus side, when I had to hover-pee at a public toilet, my thighs were up to the task, and I didn’t have to hold the walls for balance.

Day 45: Inspired by my ability to hover-pee using only the power of my thighs, and because I’m feeling a lot better after two days of sleep, I pushed myself at P&F today. I feel great. Wife said my ass was getting firmer. I mentioned that my hamhocks made it look like my ass was really long instead of round. She objected to me naming my fat deposits, so I shook my jelly roll at her and took a shower. Yeah. Married conversations are weird.

Day 46: I snuggled under the covers and worked on revisions. I forgot to get up. I did, however, try a Slim Fast. It’s a chocolate shake with vitamins. It tastes okay, but it did not fill me up. I followed up with chips and hummus, and some popcorn.

Day 47: I weighed in at a half pound less. Was it the Slim Fast? I don’t know, but the gas is not worth the hassle. They didn’t start until later in the day. I have a slow digestive system, and I didn’t eat anything else out of the ordinary today, so it had to be the Slim Fast. Anyway, I went to P&F, did aerobic and some leg weight thingies. My thighs can squeeze 30 lbs. Tomorrow is a snow day, so I have plans to whip out the bellydancing DVD.

Workout 2018 Volume 7: This is when I usually call it quits…quietly

My Journey to a Me With Energy and Stamina

I say this because I’m sure not losing any weight. I know I’m supposed to eat less, but I don’t eat much now.

Day 30: I hit P&F with vim and vigor. Due to issues with my knee, I was concentrating on making sure I used my ass and hamstring to push down on the elliptical. It made a huge difference in the quality of the workout–much better, no knee pain, but it’s a pain in the ass–literally.

Day 31: Sick day. Blech. You don’t wanna know.

Day 32: Feeling a lot better. I did 40 minutes at P&F–20 on the treadmill and 20  on the elliptical. Neck hurts. Need to remember to stand up straight on both. BUT you would have laughed your ass off watching me lip sync to my playlist. I go all out.

Day 33-34: I have no excuse except that I’m tired. I was talking with a colleague who has a nasty cold, and he mentioned that he was feeling better except that he was tired. I joked that at our age, tired was a part of the landscape. But the truth of the matter is that I’m lazy, and long-term commitment to working out has always been difficult for me. And so I did not work out for these two days. Instead, I spent time with my family and worked on revising the first book in a new series. Tomorrow is Saturday, so I’m firming up my resolve about renewing my commitment to my physical health. Technically, it’s Saturday right now, and I’m forcing myself to write this in the hope it motivates me to get my ass moving.

Day 35: Guilt-shaming worked. I did belly dancing. Judging from my reflection in the monitor, I’m not doing too badly! Some of my moves have actual grace and flow to them. Yay, me!

Day 36: Got up early and dragged my ass to P&F. I’m so proud that I didn’t throw in the towel! I have zero excuse not to work out tomorrow, so if I don’t, it’s due to  pure laziness. Scratch that–I WILL work out tomorrow!

Day 37: I kept my promise! Twin #2 and I went to P&F. I increased the resistance and the incline on the elliptical and got a better workout. To be fair, it took me a while to figure out how to adjust the machines. I’m dense when it comes to certain things.

Workout 2018 Volume 6, The Bump in the Road

The continuing saga of my journey to getting in shape…

Day 22: I didn’t want to go anywhere, but Wife grabbed my ass and told me that working out was making a difference. I like when she grabs my ass, so I went to Pools & Fitness today. I’m easy, especially on a Sunday morning.

Day 23: I took the morning off and got a massage. My massage therapist noted that my leg muscles were stronger. No, I did not kick her. She’s nice, though she could do with a little less patchouli in her oil. I had to come home and have Wife wash me down with Dawn to get the smell to go away. On the plus side, Wife washed me down, so I’m not seeing the patchouli as a bad thing. Does that count as my exercise today?

Day 24: Yo-ga. Rhymes with yo-gurt, which is what I had for breakfast. I should go to P&F tonight, but I don’t wanna. (Read in a whiny voice.)

Day 25: I’m so flipping hungry that I’m going to work out by eating stuff. So far today, I’ve had toast, an apple, yogurt with blueberries, a Dove chocolate bar, and a Yasso frozen yogurt bar. I started out so well today, but it seems all bets were off after noon. #failday Here’s hoping I get my ass off the sofa tomorrow?

Day 26: My quads are getting stronger than my hammies, which causes my knee to hurt. So I did some exercises for those today, which made my ass hurt. Then we went to P&F. I tried out the bike today, I don’t understand people who put it at the lowest resistance. It’s just moving your legs, not working anything. Anyway, I started at 8 and moved it up to 10. I found that it surprisingly works my hips and lower abs. However, it also works my quads, which are apparently strong enough. I have mixed feelings about that.

Day 27 and 28: Worked, worked, worked, but didn’t work out.

Day 29: I wanted so badly to skip today, but then I reminded myself that I took the last 2 days off. I got into my socks that slide across the wood floor and did some belly dancing. This episode was called The Hippy Camel, which makes me think of my jeans lodged in an uncomfortable place. The workout was really fun. I liked the warmup, which combined yoga with extra stretchy stuff. I’m glad to see my flexibility is coming back. I missed that from when I had stopped working out altogether. We did shoulder rolls. As long as I ignore the crackling of my shoulders, it was a sexy move. Then I learned the “ethnic shimmy” which sounds kind of racist, but it’s just a sharp hip move from side-to-side. This, I could do–and well. Then we did a thing called “m-and-m’s” which turned out better than the candy. (Confession time: I do not like M&M’s.) The move was a little complicated for someone as uncoordinated as me, but I think I did okay. Even the switching is getting easier, though the narrator is now counting things out. Someone must have given them feedback to inform them that the people who were going to buy this video were middle-aged women with love handles, not professional dancers.

Weight: I have not lost any, but I’m stronger and I have more stamina, so it’s not a total loss. TBH, the only way I really lose weight is to not eat and take Claritin-D, and I’m too freaking old to do pull that crap anymore. Besides, I’m not having allergies right now.

See you next week!

Workout 2018 Volume 5

As I continue to work out…

My outfit is not this cool. Think: middle-aged housewife in pajama pants

Day 14: I didn’t do a video. I didn’t want to do anything. It’s too freaking cold outside. All I want to do is curl up under a blanket and read/edit Drawing On Love. I know I wrote it, but I’m loving that story! Plus, those 2 pounds disappeared after a day. (Yeah, I weigh  myself at the same time each morning.) Anyway, Wife dragged me to Pools and Fitness, so I did 20 min on the treadmill and 15 on the elliptical. Then I had  grilled mushroom, onion, and Swiss, with a side of Baked Lays. Imma workout, Imma eat.

Day 15 and 16: I hit P&F both days, doing 20 min on the treadmill and 20 on the elliptical. It turns out that I like listening to love songs while I work out. There’s nothing like being on the treadmill and singing along to Laura Branigan’s Power of Love. Judging by the looks from people near me, they found my choice of music strange. Or maybe they objected to my horrible vocals. Get headphones, people. Imma workout, Imma sing.

Day 17: Day off. Kids were at an event, so Wife and I spent time together.

Day 18: Did yoga this morning, hitting P&F this evening with Twin #2. I have not lost any more weight, but I feel great.

Day 19: Wife made me go for a mile walk with her and the dog. It was nice. Then I ate red peppers and cheese for dinner, half a bag of sour cream and cheese chips because I couldn’t stop, and a mint chocolate yogurt bar for dessert. I can’t seem to stop eating. I guess it took me 20 days to go off the rails. Better luck tomorrow?

Day 20: No working out today. Long work day. Grilled cheese for dinner. Beat Wife at Trivial Pursuit. Guessing is my thing.

Day 21: I learned the 3/4 hip sway, or something along those lines. I also learned “snake arms,” which I nailed due to my ability to do the wave. It turns out that 80’s break dancing moves were useful! Thank you, Breakin and Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo–you weren’t just bad movies I loved.

Shimmy/Workout 2018 Pt 4

Day 10: I did nothing. It’s okay to do nothing when you wake up and remember that you’ll never get to talk to someone you loved again. Loss sucks a lot.

Day 11/S1E2: I did Cairo to Istanbul again. I’ve been practicing the Turkish figure-8’s a lot. I love making Twin #1 scream: I CAN’T UNSEE THAT! NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO SEE THEIR MOTHER MOVE LIKE THAT.

I’m not sure if my moves are that alluring or if they’re just so bad that it hurts to see. Either way, I’m deriving massive enjoyment from this.

This morning, I figured out how to do the arm moves with the hip circle (“Invite them closer” or “shoo them away”) and with the figure-8’s (“Pull on the rope” or “Give back the rope”.) Also continuing to bother me–It’s okay to use the yoga names for the stretches. They’re still good stretches.

I turned down an opportunity to visit Pools and Fitness because it’s so fucking cold outside.

Day 12: Yoga! I didn’t want to get up and yoga, but I did it. The DVD program on my computer didn’t want to run, so it took me 10 minutes to get it loaded. Three f-ing programs that play DVD’s, and they all had my initial attitude. But I persevered. Those 2 lbs I’ve lost are my incentive, and I feel better–more energetic, and my metabolism seems to have kicked up a notch.

Day 13: After a wonderful dinner last night, I’ve gained back those two pounds. Demoralized (and my SIL’s wake is today,) I skipped working out and splurged on peanut butter toast for breakfast.

Adventures With Shimmy Pt 3

My Quest for Fitness 3

This morning my computer’s DVD drive didn’t want to wake up. I was hungry, so I wondered if this was the universe telling me to eat now and worry about fitness later. But then I futzed around with it, and it booted up.

Day 8/S1E2: Cairo to Istanbul

In my quest to do each episode twice, I did the wrong one. If you’ll recall, I accidentally did episode 8 last time. That’s what my DVD player was trying to tell me. Ah, well. I’m nothing if not unreasonable.

It seems it is best to do these series in order. This episode taught the head/neck shimmy and hip circles. One thing that bugs me is that they do yoga poses in the warm up, but they feel the need to give them weird names or descriptions. Cat and Upward Cat (or Cat Rolling) are “Get on your hands and knees. Now lift your shoulders and drop your tummy.” It’s a lot easier to call the poses by their real names. I’m assuming many people who try out Shimmy have tried out yoga previously. I could be wrong.

Anyway, this episode taught me how to do the hip circles, Egyptian step, and Turkish figure-8. It also explains the name–Cairo to Istanbul. I should let these people name my books. The more FBI books I put out there, the harder they are to name. With Re/Captured, I sat down with a 30 yo dictionary, opened it to the RE-pages, and read until I found something that fit the plot. I learned lots of new and useful RE words, but I can’t remember what they are, so their usefulness is in doubt.

The Egyptian step is pretty easy, but the Turkish figure-8 goes in the opposite direction my hips want to roll. Maybe the hip circles do as well, and I just haven’t noticed? That fits something I wouldn’t notice.

Despite my awkwardness, I’m really liking this series. When they set you loose to dance at the end, I find myself dancing through the closing credits, practicing moves and combinations they taught me. Throughout the day, I find myself stopping and trying out a hip circle or Turkish figure-8.

Day 9: Today I did crying yoga because my sister-in-law passed away yesterday. I didn’t want to work out, but I reasoned that she always supported me in my goals, and she wouldn’t have wanted me to quit now. I’ve lost 2 lbs so far in this quest.

Adventures With Shimmy Pt 2

I haven’t given it up yet

Day 4: I did yoga. I feel this is the best way to introduce something new–by interspersing it with something I know I can do. I also went to Pools and Fitness and did 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the elliptical.

Day 5: I took this fucker off. I read through the draft for Drawing on Love and formatted Re/Captured for print. I also messed around with D2D and their fun formatting for ebooks. Then I loaded Re/Captured up for presale. I’m thinking about what to take on next. Brandy Lockmeyer is finally talking to me.

Day 6/S1E8: I rose early to do Shimmy. In my tired state, I put disk 2 into my DVD drive. Too lazy to change it out, I just did episode 8. I figured that I did all the Namaste Yoga videos out of sequence, so why not?

This started off innocently enough, with some shoulder shimmies and hip thingies from E1. At first, I thought it was going to be a repeat. I mean, it seemed like they just spliced together footage and voice-over from that first episode, and then they added another element afterward. Good news: My shoulder shimmy isn’t half bad, and I’m feeling more coordinated with my hip thingies. I’m not sure my arms are right or if I’m turning in the right direction, but my arms are engaged and I’m not falling on my ass, so that’s GOOD NEWS.

The funniest part was when they introduced a new move where you had to shake your hips by shaking your legs. In isolation, I can do that. Add it to circling or moving your hips in a figure-8, and you feel like a bowl of Jello in the hands of a two-year-old. Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle, and all that. Okay, so the narrator says, “This is a difficult move that you’ll need to practice.” (I’m close with that quote, but I might be paraphrasing a little.) Immediately after she says it, they cut to a new move. You go from “This is hard, practice it” to “And now try this.” As a teacher, if I did that to my students, they’d never learn a damn thing. Sheesh.

At the end, when they put it all together and you do a dance, I think I did okay. I took out the jelly jiggling and kept the hip circles and figure-8 moves. When they said to go all free-form, meaning do the moves you learned, I concentrated on the hip moves that I could sort-of do to try to smooth out the move. As I’ve said, I’m not coordinated or graceful, so looking good while doing this is only a secondary goal.

This video is DEFINITELY for people who dance a lot. However, I’m having fun, I’m learning some moves, and I can feel it in my hips and lower core, which is an area where I struggle.

Day 7: I did yoga, an episode that had me stretching my hips, thighs, butt, and torso. My butt was a little sore from when I pushed myself on needle pose, but I used to get my leg up so much higher. Getting old is really hard on the flexibility front.

Later, I went to Pools and Fitness, intending to do 20 minutes on the treadmill at a brisk walk and 20 minutes on the elliptical. But I had a huge setback. I made it 12 minutes on the treadmill before my legs and back started itching. I lifted up the leg of my yoga pants to find my skin mottled. I looked under my athletic socks to find my legs and feet swollen. My left hand was also very swollen, but my right wasn’t as bad. ICYMI, I have low blood pressure, and swelling is the first sign something is amiss. If I let it go too long, my heart has skipped beats/stopped for a moment, and I’ve passed out. It took 5 years to find a doctor to figure out what was wrong with me. In the meantime, my symptoms were scary.

As the tingling and itchiness spread up my torso and down to my toes, I told the twins to cut their workout short and grab my stuff. I went home. It took almost and hour of putting my legs up (above my heart!) to get back to normal. It’s been 3 months since I’ve had an episode. I’ll take it easy for the rest of the day.

But tomorrow, I plan to take on the same episode of Shimmy again. I’ve been practicing figure-8’s–much to my children’s chagrin.