Resilience…or, I’ve Been a Busy Girl

Resilience is what keeps us moving and growing. And I can honestly say that I’ve seen such resilience in Mister Bubby since my last post, that it’s inspiring.  Is that stupid? To find your fur baby to be inspiring? Even if it’s stupid, I still believe he’s a miracle. Since I last wrote, I found out that Bubby is officially cancer free! He’s moving around like the champ that he is and continues to amaze me every day. We’re just about back to normal with the exception of climbing the staircase to go to bed at night. For some reason, he just can’t muster the energy to propel himself. I just keep telling myself that we’ll get there. And we will.

His recovery period was a real bitch. Keeping him from licking at his sutures was a miserable experience for all involved, and we had to make a visit to the emergency room due to a bad reaction to pain medication, but we got through it. And somehow, even with putting him through the surgery and making sure he kept his tongue off of the incision site, he still loves me. The love that our fur babies have for us is simply incredible.

Let’s see, what else has been happening? Oh, big doin’s. I’ve been working with a phenomenal trainer at the gym for a little over a month, and I’ve started dead lifting and have far exceeded my expectations with what I thought were my abilities. Last week, I lifted 130 lbs. My goal was 120 and I just… kept going, adding more weight little by little. It’s really amazing what your body can do once your brain says you can do it. Lifting is something I never thought I would do. I never imagined that I’d reach the point where I actually look forward to picking up heavy weight.

I’ve also been working hard with my cardio work and sticking to the Weight Watchers plan, and I’m happy to announce that I am now 28 pounds lighter now than I was on April 22nd. And, I’m the incredible shrinking woman: my trainer took measurements of me when we started working a little over a month ago and every part of me is getting smaller. It truly is a wonderful feeling when you see results and know that your hard work is paying off.

I also just got back from a fantastic trip to Houston where I was able to spend time with my FES (fitness extraordinaire sister). It was so great to get out of the small town I’m in and meet new people and experience new things. I had a wonderful time having sister time and making memories; I even enjoyed it when we’d be trying to sleep and my phone would make a noise and she’d give me a death glare. There truly is nothing like the bond you have with your sisters.

Along with all of the above, I’ve recently just opened my own business. I’m now an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay. I turned to this to add a little extra income to my pocket to achieve further financial independence, but I’m excited because this is something totally fun and different from what I do from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday.  This weekend will be my first weekend with the ability to hold appointments, and I’m totally booked up all weekend! It’s a terrific feeling. I’m looking forward to sharing some great products with lots of different women and making them feel beautiful.  If any of you are interested in any of our excellent products, you can visit my store . The beauty about Mary Kay is that while I’m an independent consultant and therefore, a small business owner, I’m backed by a global company who believes to thoroughly in their products that they offer a 100% money back guarantee.

So that’s what I’ve been up to since my last writing; I’ve been a busy girl! All in all, life is good. Our journey may lead us down some bumpy roads, but somehow you end up just where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what it is that you’re supposed to be doing.

 

The End of Personal Training: Channeling a Stubborn Nature

As I come to the end of my personal training sessions, I find myself in a state of reflection.  The past month has been a true learning experience; I’ve come to know that I’m nearly as weak as I thought that I was and that in fact, I’m more stubborn than ever thought before when it comes to attaining something that I want.

After accepting the fact that I was going to have to do things that I would otherwise avoid, like countless lunges, squats and lifting weights I developed a kind of love/hate relationship with these activities.  I knew after the first couple of meetings with my trainer that there would be no escaping these vicious, muscle-burning movements and that I’d be better off getting the right form and doing as many of them as possible on my own time to see some results.  The exciting part was that not only did I begin seeing results in a very short period of time, but my tolerance for these movements increased and I actually started to enjoy them…okay, maybe “enjoy” is a strong word, but I became excited for my workouts because I knew that was I was doing would heed the results that I want.

My least favorite of the activities of which I was introduced is hands-down weight lifting.

what I feel like while weight lifting

I’ve never been a fan of lifting heavy objects and avoid it whenever possible, but considering I was paying someone to tell me what to do and how to do it to get the best results, I decided that the best plan of attack was to grin and bear it (and ask my trainer if she’d lost her mind when she would hand me a dumbbell much heavier than I thought I could handle, or would load up more weight on a machine than I would do on my own). I haven’t developed a good relationship with weight lifting, but I always feel a sort of vindication after I’m finished.  I feel triumphant and sweaty, a bit like I’ve just won a battle, despite the burning sensation residing in my arms. As much as I despise the actual activity, I’ve grown to love the feeling of accomplishment afterward.

One of the most challenging exercises that I’ve encountered to date is one that I was introduced to last week: a plank hold while balancing on a medicine ball. One word encapsulates how I feel about this exercise: OW! This is one of those exercises that I found so challenging that I refused to give up after doing twice. The first time I did it, I held it for about a second before flopping into a wobbly substance on the floor; then, I stubbornly looked at my trainer and said, “I’m doing this again.” This is kind of the perfect exercise because every muscle is engaged: arms, legs, butt…it’s pretty fantastic. Now, all I have to do is continue to force myself to do it on my own.

example of a plank hold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My final session with my trainer is tomorrow evening, and even though I’ll have everything that we have done together written down, it just won’t be the same as having someone there to guide and encourage me.  I now understand why people hire personal trainers: it’s like having your own personal cheerleader to offer words of encouragement while  you grunt and complain over and over again about how much you hate the exercises that they’re making you do. In all seriousness, this experience has been nothing but positive and with the confidence that I’ve gained over the past month, I believe that I have it within myself to get where I’d like to be physically.  With more hard work, continuing to eat a healthier diet, a positive outlook and channeling my stubborn nature, I believe that I can do this. It’s a good feeling.

 

Gym Memberships (and their inclusive horrors)

My first hike of the season made two things blatantly evident: 1) my endurance has disappeared and 2) leaning forward to climb a steep grade made me feel as though I had strapped a backpack full of lard to the front of my body. I have never been “skinny”; on the contrary, I have always been slightly soft and somewhat round.

For the past seven years I’ve bounced from gym to gym, intermittently going on hiatus when I decided it was plain stupid to pay a membership when I wasn’t utilizing said affiliation.  I last gave up a gym membership in October (because once again, I’d quit going) and since then, I haven’t done much anything that would qualify as aerobic physical activity. I’ve been contemplating rejoining a gym for a while, despite my general loathing of gyms.

Why do I loathe gyms, you ask?

1)      I don’t like being on display while I sweat. I prefer sweating in private.

2)      The elliptical/stair masters/treadmills are always pushed too close together for my comfort.

3)     Because of the close proximity of afformentioned exercise equipment and being on display, I can’t sing at the top of my lungs without    outside judgements.

4)      Group exercise instructors are always just a wee bit too peppy: yes, I know they’re supposed to be fun and can be, but they’re work. And sometimes I like to grimace while my muscles are on fire.

4)  My exercise mojo is ruined when random people that I know from my community walk up to me and insist on striking up and carrying on a conversation while I’m zoned out and rockin’ out to my favorite tunes on my iPod.

Despite all of the above reasons and because I realize that I simply must do something to better my health other than eating healthier and drinking less, I guilted myself into signing up for another membership this evening.  I was told that I get a “physical assessment” with my membership so, naturally I asked what that entailed; evidently a physical assessment will include pinching of fat, stepping on scales and measuring limbs and my (lack of) waist.  As any girl would be at the thought of these activities, I was thrilled. Ugh.  So, tomorrow, I’ll submit my body and psyche to the embarrassing wrath of calipers and pinching fingers.  And, horror of horrors the eyes of another will see the numbers on the scale when I weigh. As ghastly as this process seems to me, I understand that I’ll have a better  understanding of what I’ll need to do to get where I want to be after enduring it.

Once I get into a good workout groove, I’ll be set (at least for a while until I hit the burned-out phase). I know from experience that getting started is always the most difficult part for me, well… that and going to the gym after work when what I’d really like to be doing is drinking a beer or a glass of wine while curled up on the couch watching reruns of 30 Rock.  For now, I’m going to adopt the mantra of Little Engine that Could: I think I can. I’ll make that my mantra until I believe it and it turns into “I know I can”.