Exercise goals and the healthy vanity of it all

Well hello there, TC peeps. Long time no talk, I know! Seems years since we've connected, shared. What? It has been two years? Well lemme' tell you some'n: Exercise is good m'kay?

It was the post-Christmas doldrums of 2011. You'd find me catatonic on the couch with fist-fulls of smashed, abandoned and or parentally taxed X-mas candy, and early morning infomercials were my friends. In a blurry-eyed trance my slouching began to hurt so I crooked my right arm, leaned on my elbow and began to push myself up. I gained no purchase nor progress. Our creamy-tattered leather couch had begun to suck me into its folds. I tried again, this time bracing against the arm of my poofy prison. It's a frackin' yippy-yuk! It won't let go.

Senior house dog, Gemini witnessed the struggle. He's always there when food is in peril of being lost. He licked his lips. Bastard. He's already eaten the toe off Devon's Santa stocking. Sugar-seeking freak! Eyeing him, eyeing MY sweets and my struggle made me panic. My right arm has become wedged into the corner of the couch, under folds of poof-y leather and my weight. If I thrust my hips forward, I might loosen the seat cushion. And if that happens, I will potentially, get an arm back. But if I thrust forward, the debris of second hand confection now in a mound on my belly and secured by my left arm and hand will fly onto the floor. The senior house dog is at the ready for clean-up.

I've actually begun to sweat. Beads of perspiration form a moist mustache on my upper lip. My arms are aching. Blue cotton candy strands start to melt onto my now dewy left-forearm. I note brown blobs of dark and milk Lindt chocolate on it too. Candy cane dust shards were all that remained solid in my cache.

This is ridiculous. I let the candy dust and blue spun-sugar fall. But I held onto the chocolate. I was proud of this and celebrated my feat by stuffing all the bon-bon bits into my maw. I noticed that Gemini noticed the chocolate did not fall. It's for his own good, the sugar-seeking freak! After brushing what remained on my skin against whatever I was wearing (nightgown?). I braced myself for liftoff with my left arm now in on the effort. Senior house dog now busily inhales my lost treasure. Bastard.

One, two, three! My hips roll forward and one puffy cushion moves with my rump towards the floor. This motion pops the cushion up, freeing my right arm. I turn to see its delivery, which is smack into my face. No, it's more like a slap. A suffocating, funk-a-fiedly-meaty bitch-slap. Using the glow of x-mas tree lights, I tilt my head to examine my upper right arm. And it's like, so gross?!

Where muscle and taunt skin had once been, a landscape of unknown blight had taken residence. Paper-y, loose-folds of flesh had the color of a Blondie with marshmallow sprinkles. Mm mm, brownies. Sorry, I digress. It's gelatinous. It's tiger-striped. It's cellulite. And it's on my f-ing arms!

Then my friend, T.V. blurts salvation is at hand. Gazing up from the floor, supported by a cushion in my upper back, I crane around the tree to see what T.V. wants me to see. He's so sweet to me.  An infomercial for Zumba is on and I swear, it was put on the screen just for me. The last time I tried to bust a move, I pulled something and gave myself a charlie horse. Smooth.

But the commercial holds my gaze. I wanna' shake myself slim too. Like most infomercial's it's long enough to effect daydreaming. But if it's a good bore like this one, the dream will be flavored by said bore. I envison myself with a waistline sans Spanx, shakin' my money maker in a fitness class with Vivica Fox. Wow. She's going to love me. Hell we're already besties. ;)

So I wait. Three weeks pass, it's almost the end of January and my Zumba Fitness Live! transformation system is in my trembling hands. I pop disc one into the only functioning dvd player we own and set out to learn 'the basics'. It's a step-by-step instructional that's 1-hour long. 3 minutes in and one move learned sends sweat pouring off me. Yikes. Embarrassing. But, it's fun. I fast-forward through the instructional at a 4x the speed. Slow enough to see but fast enough that I can't keep up with all the moves, so I sway from side to side frenetically. I'm black, I say to myself and T.V. I don't have to learn the moves per se, I'll catch-on naturally. Right? RIGHT ON, sistah! 

I move onto the 'basic' workout. Thank goodness, it's only 20 minutes long. Dear reader, it must be stressed that I'm a spaz. Always have been. So I'm technically hyper-ventillating after 30 minutes of half-assed dancing. I start the program and the routine is easy to follow. And hard on a blerd. I'm panting, my thighs are burning and the console's rocking. By the cool-down I'm gulping air. It's clear to me and T.V. that we've a lot of work left to do.

I stick with it. Well. After two weeks of not. But after 4 weeks of steady 20-minute workouts 3 times a week, I was down a dress size. With that, I was hooked. April had me exercising everyday. By May I was working out 2 hours a day. I felt great! My bloat became a jellyroll with strength. I was gonna' be bikini ready by Labor Day! And then my who-ha revolted. The ruptured cysts were shear agony. And my doctor ordered surgery. I recovered within 2 weeks. Serious. I was feeling like I was in the best shape of my adult life. I sought out other exercise techniques, styles and fads. And bam! My right ovary was in cystic overdrive. More pelvic probs. Me and Richard the Right said our farewells in July. And I was on my back and out of commission for 6 weeks.

By then, election season was here. And I joined the struggle. But, our family caught the flu. Then I had exacerbations. I felt compelled to shirk my role and walk away from the stress.  It reminded me that I'm immunosuppressed. A flu rattles some for a week or two. But for me, it can be epic. At least I served as an election judge. It's just little-d democracy and I'm happy to do little. Now, it's the holidays again. I've said yes to slurping buttery, sugary grub. And I'd lost my box of Zumba discs. Maybe subconsciously on purpose. First the saddle bags came back after Thanksgiving. And by New Years, the bloated belly too. But not my arms. My arms were still firm. They were what started it all in the first place.

Those arms worked my hands which found a local deal on spinning classes at The Shed Fitness Studio. Something had to change. I did not trust myself to put the disc in and workout. Or visit with my favorite YouTube trainers. My first day was a revelation. It was fun. Have you tried this workout? It's choreographed cycling on stationary bikes to pulsating music, in mood lighting. And at The Shed, some classes end with floor work like: isometrics and calisthenics with weights. I'm only 5 classes in and my jellied strength is starting to show again.

But I'm not through. Oh no. I'm going after this, baby: LOSE WEIGHT AND WIN A TRIP FOR TWO: The Forte Fitness New Year's Resolution "Get Fit" Challenge! Watch the video, go to the Forte Fitness page and click on the event to get all the info. Starts February 4th, so get on it and stick with your New Year's Resolution this year! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo-72lqHNuc&list=UUuAI0zH92aVKPNTIJs7Kcqw&index=1

I dunno' if I have a chance, but I'd like to try. Who's with me?

 

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Rachel Dykoski's picture
Rachel Lovejoy

Comments

UPDATE: How I put myself to sleep for 20 hours

OK - here's what I know:
1. Zumba fit does not equal BootCamp / Insanity fit.
2. When I give my all to a BootCamp workout it will zap my core and burn good for 3 days.
3. After a good Boot Camp workout, I will sleep for 20 hours. Srsly!
4. I am a liability to a studio that has Boot Camp.  Even though I sign it away, it wouldn't look good for someone to kick-the-bucket in your fabulous place for health.
5. I am sticking to spinning because I like doing other things besides sleeping, eating and X-fitness.
6. Even though I had an EPIC FAIL at Forte Fitness (Minneapolis & St. Louis Park) - the staff, especially Kelly was extremely helpful, understanding and ready with 'next-step options' for people like me in need of a little less intensity and a little more hand-holding without pressure, judgement but with helpful peer engagement and direction!

It's not too late to give the Forte Fitness challenge a try. I'm going to focus on building my endurance-up at The Shed Fitness Studio on Lyndale. My favorite instructor is Shannon O. I like starting my Fridays with Kat. Kate L. is a spinning diva who will make you laugh at how relentless she is.

YOLO!

Find a spot where you feel a part of it, are made better by it and by all means: ENJOY IT!

r