Monday, June 10, 2013

A Dose of Motivation (with a Heavy Dollop of Self-Deprecation)

Surprisingly awake today. Still waking up with lower back aches, which I can't tell the cause of, but once the caffeine and Advil kick in, I'm cool. Pretty sure it's just my body telling me to exercise, so naturally I've been researching a new extreme in that area, because I have no realism when it comes to diet and fitness. I'm a triathloner trapped in a blob's body.

Not looking into any triathlons yet, thank goodness, but have been researching how to "chub-down" the mini workouts that make up the beginner Crossfit daily regimens. Because when you first look at them, they seem so simple. Something like 5 squats, 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 5 many times as possible in 10 minutes. Heck, anybody should be able to do that, right? even if you're taking it easy and doing the push-ups on your knees at first. Hell, the videos even make burpees look easy.

Until you realize you can't squat. That something as simple as a full squat (more than 90 degrees)would cause you to injure yourself. And the shame of that flushes through you, but is quickly replaced by determination. Because maybe if I were doing my old PT exercises on an almost-daily basis, and walking and doing yoga regularly as I'd like to be doing, I'd have the knee strength to pull off squats without worrying about excruciating pain and faulty balance sending me on my ample arse....?

This is a big bone of contention in my head, and I'm quite over it. It's embarrassing to crouch down in bookstores, because I am then faced with the dilemma of "howthefuck am I going to get up from this position without looking like a 2-year old?" And I really do get up like a 2-year old usually, because putting my hands out in front of me on the floor to support myself on the way up is what works. And it's only slightly less embarrassing than bending down with my back only and having my impressively large rear end sticking out for anyone to gawk at...

So naturally with self-talk like that going through my head, it's time to turn over a fresh leaf. And all I can say is thank goodness for Strong Is the New Skinny, because it's philosophies like that one that are going to get me through this. I don't wanna be model thin, and I have no illusions of ever attaining that. I want to be healthy and strong, to be able to do the simple things that a healthy body is able to accomplish, and then to be able to push said body beyond its perceived limitations. Because right now, when squatting is a friggin' limitation...I'm over that shit.

Side note: While I fully realize how self-deprecating/derogatory the phrase "chub down" is, I can't help wondering if having groovy looking workouts "chubbed down" to fit the abilities and body types of say, the over-250 crowd, wouldn't be a nifty public service....hmm....

I swear, I must seem like I have the attention span of a hummingbird, with the way I'm purporting a new diet lifestyle every couple of weeks. I assure you, that's not the case, because unfortunately, I don't usually get the latest "lifestyle" off the ground enough to call it a success or a failure.

But what I am doing, with all this research, is figuring out what will work with me. I love the look of Whole 9 or Whole 30 (Paleo), which is basically the same thing as Dr. Hyman's Advanced Blood Sugar Solution (actually, the other way around...Paleo's been around longer), but I also know that with my sugar addiction, which has spanned at least 30 years, that no matter how good it may be for my body to remove sugar (and wheat, and white potatoes, and.....) completely, that I'm not someone who can just cold turkey it like that. I'd last maybe 2 days and then I'd backslide my way into a bag of Ore-Ida Tots with a side of Junior Mints.

So I'm taking pieces from each plan that I read up on, and making it into something that ultimately should result in my improved health. There's going to be days where I'm feeling Paleo and days where I'm feeling vegan. Both these concepts have merit, and those elements listed above are a great start. Tack on an almost-daily workout regimen, and I should see results.

It ain't rocket science, but it can require bimonthly tweaking for us normal folks who don't have a nutritionist and fitness coach on speed dial. I don't want to pay any mind to the numbers on the scale, so I'll be judging how my clothes fit and how strong I feel, and tweak my lifestyle accordingly. It's ever-so-slowly happening already, in the food choices I make; I'm able to look at what I'm eating and I think, "OK, this would be better if you removed this and decreased that and added this instead..."

And it helps that a lot of people around here look a little more fit. I swear there's less fatties up here in Asheville, but that's probably me being a tad judgey. I just know when I'm in a crowd of ladies at the farmers market who look like they just came off the hiking trail, all strong legs and fit bodies, it's motivating rather than intimidating. In the city, I wanted to hide from these folks. Now I want to pick their brains to find out how they keep themselves looking that good. At the garden walk last weekend, I found myself staring at a girl in a cap-sleeve T, because her body looked beautiful and I admired the daily work that likely went into keeping herself that healthy, while my knees and ankles started to ache just from standing more than 15 minutes.

Like I said, I'm kinda over it. Now to make it habit.

Image from here.

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