Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Missing the exquisite torture...

I've been out of town for a couple day and I'm really missing the exquisite torture of Pilates, so much so that I've been doing it on my own in my queen-sized bed that overlooks Market St. in San Francisco, CA. If a completely naked guy can walk down Market St. in the Gay Pride Parade, I can do Pilates on the 5th floor of the Palomar Hotel for everyone in the offices across the street see.

This last week I was introduced to some movements that really taxed my triceps. Those girls complained for days, and yet, they continued to complain when I didn't work them. So, I caved and complied and now I'm sitting in a web designer's conference in the most delightful discomfort from the waist up. The triceps, lats, ribs and abs are singing a symphony. The pain from the waist down is about having to sit in a chair for far too many hours listening to people who frequently discussed concepts way over my head. I need to do a little work involving my tailbone before I go to bed.

(Is there Pilates for the auditory system? I think my ears are finally falling victim to too many hours spent using headphones. I'm overwhelmed with new information from the conference!)

Getting back to the Pilates - I'm really progressing with my capabilities. I'm now keeping up with most of the other students. I'm even succeeding at some of the more advanced positions, which is exciting for me. I've been known to yell out in class, "Damn! Look at me! Look at me!" Sometimes, I'm soooooo like a four-year-old.

I'm struggling with another physical setback, but Pilates is really helping me through this. After weeks of intermittent knee pain, my doctor is sending me for x-rays and a trip to an orthopedic surgeon. She could tell the cartiledge (in my right knee especially) has just about had it. But, she could also tell my supportive muscles are much stronger than they used to be. So, while I might have to have surgery, I'm not feeling so bad about it, because with the Pilates, I am kicking ass!

I had the opportunity to chat with a really lovely gal for the last two days. A fellow web specialist (Hey G!) who shared with me a really great tip for insuring that she remained in deficit-mode while working towards losing weight. She tracked her meals as well as checked her Body Bugg at the end of every day. If the caloric output did not overtake the caloric intake by enough, no matter how late in the day it was, she committed herself to burning those extra calories before she went to bed.

Ooof! I never even considered that! Usually, I've committed to a certain amount of activity during the day, plus stuck to a specific eating plan, but by the end of the day, if I was still hungry, I ate. And I never measured that against my caloric output. Quite honestly, I always listen to my appetite. And I always limited the scope of my activity during specific times of the day, mostly because cardio later in the day keeps me up at night. How much weight training can I do before bed to burn enough calories to make up for a snack? This is something I have to think about.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The scale spoke sweetly to me this morning

Okay, when I started Pilates I weighed in at 320. After I went off the diuretic and bp meds, I went up to 332. As of this morning, I'm back down to 319! Downward progression in full swing again! And bp is still normal.

Stupid drug companies!

I'm taking the week off from Pilates because I've had a fever since Sunday night. Today I'm feeling better, so I'm getting ready to take the dog to the dog park.

Did I tell you about Chloe? She's a Jack-a-bee pup, Jack Russell/Beagle mix. OMG!!! She's going to ruin my house! My best defense is to exercise her often throughout the day, which is why I got her. Another support to keep my body moving. Because if I don't exercise her, she'll chew through all my stuff!

Anyway, next week, I'm going back to Pilates, three times/week. Plus the daily treadmill/rowing machine workout (45 minutes). And the split free weights routine.

I have nothing else to do. There's still no work for me in my hometown. Unless I want to process tomatoes and cherries.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Improving body image is the toughest thing to do!

So Lori the Wonder Coach had me looking in the mirror everyday, telling myself how marvelous I really am. I was not convinced it was going to work. I mean, damn, I got self-confidence in spades! But having a positive body image...completely different story!

It's a struggle to look at myself in the mirror (even with clothes on) and not see the Michelin Man staring back at me. So many have invested so much time and money to help me wear the negative body-image and it's really tough to divest myself of it. And in moments of emotional lows, the ugly attitude creeps in and reclaims real estate I thought I had taken back.

I think it's the value of my beauty that's in question for me. Quite simply, I wasn't raised to value it. I was told that if I was a good Christian woman and did everything perfectly, then I would be loved and someone would see that as the beauty in me. In the face of achievements galore, I was never perfect in the right combination and I still got dumped. I really do understand all that wasn't really about me at all, but it still stings, deeply. I continue to struggle with connecting to my beauty because I don't want to be wanted simply because of my appearance. It's not what I value about myself. But I think what I have to do is accept my beauty as a part of the whole picture, an integral piece of who I am.

I do long to be loved and adored. Someday. Not quite prepared for that level of attention. Who says that all my beauty is useful for is to attract and have power over others? Maybe I need to redefine the use of my beauty. Perhaps my beauty is entirely for me, a way to communicate how good I feel about myself.

Helena Rubenstein said there were no ugly women, only lazy ones. I think I need to write that in MAC Pink Poodle lipstick on my bathroom mirror.

So, I continue to look in the mirror everyday and find something about myself that's beautiful. I have a really lovely, kissable mouth, even at 49. I won't ever be needing injections in my lips! I have been told I have a nice, generous laugh. I love my hair, even when it's unruly. I have a great cut and just got it colored. It looks pretty damn good!

So all that's about everything above the neck. Easy to do. When I venture south from there, hmmmm, not so easy. I...have a soft body that's very hugable...and while my ass is large and in charge, I think it's quite nice and round and not at all sagging! And with the Pilates, I'm doing my best to keep my glutes and hamstrings smiling back there.

I have to add that I can't say enough wonderful stuff about Pilates. It is the first exercise that makes me feel beautiful, whole, strong and happy. Pilates is a spiritual experience for me, and I hate to miss a class! I went three times last week and I'm thinking by the end of the summer, I'll be attending five days a week. I love how I feel after class. I am addicted! If I didn't like finding so much pleasure in it, I wouldn't be going back so often. That sounds like body-image progress to me!