Smile when it hurts

Several weeks ago Billy and I began attending Body Pump classes at Gold’s Gym.  A couple of our teachers mentioned that they enjoyed having me in class because I smiled all the time.  One of the teachers even noted that I seemed to smile more during the harder parts of the workout.

After hearing these observations, I began thinking about why I smiled during Body Pump classes.  The most obvious reason is that I enjoy the class, which has upbeat pop music and movements matched to the beat of the songs.  There is a large group of people participating, and an instructor shouting instructions and motivation throughout.  All of the above are things that make my workout experience more convivial.  But it occurred to me that there is another reason I smile when my workout gets tough.

I swam competitively throughout much of my growing up, including my first two years of high school.  During the first few weeks of school each year, we did not swim during our workouts – we had what we called dry land training.  Running, pull-ups, bear-crawling up the stadium steps, sit-ups, push-ups, any crazy exercise you can imagine that doesn’t involve water… basically torture.

The coach who oversaw these parent and school sanctioned torture sessions was a man named Bill Thomas.  I am smiling as I type his name.  Coach Thomas loved to have us go through an obstacle course which we alternately called the Tour de Force, Tour de Torture, or Tour de Thomas.  I actually cannot recollect if it had any official name, or maybe those were the official names!  At any rate, Coach Thomas relished making us swing from the monkey bars, do pull-ups, inverted push-ups, and probably a lot of other exercises that I have blocked from my mind.

Here is the thing.  We complained at the time, and I am complaining now, but the truth is, it was excellent training, and I am absolutely certain that it made me stronger and ultimately a better swimmer.  Frankly if Coach Thomas had continued to be in charge of my exercise regimen beyond high school, I would not need Weight Watchers or Body Pump now, because I would be completely fit already!

So back to the smiling.  Coach Thomas would assign additional exercises if you looked too pained while you completed any task he had set for you.  I actually trained myself to smile when he looked my way, so he would not get the idea that I needed anymore sit-ups with the medicine ball, or whatever.  Basically, I taught myself to smile when I had exercised to the point of hurting.  It seems that I learned the lesson so well that I am still smiling when it hurts twenty years later.

Coach Thomas, thank you for teaching me the value of grinning through the pain, and pushing myself to accomplish more than I thought I could.  This lesson has served me well in the gym and in life.

Exercise: 02 Feb – 16 Jul 2012 Recap

I have been on Weight Watchers since February 2012.  I have lost almost 25 pounds, which I am pretty excited about.  I want to lose roughly 25 more pounds.

My exercise regimen has been less consistent than I would have liked.  I was working out about 3 times per week during February and March.  I started hiking about 3 times per week with Laura and Elanor in March, and that has pretty much continued since, with the exception of times when I was out of town.

Two weeks before we left for our trip to Yellowstone, I added Body Pump and yoga to the hiking.  I did 11 workouts during those two weeks.  While we were gone, I got exercise hiking around the parks.

Last week I did yoga once, and hiked three times.  This week my goal is to add a couple of Body Pump classes to the mix.  I feel like two weight lifting workouts, two hikes, and two yoga sessions would be a perfect workout week.  I am planning to build toward that goal.

Successful cleanse and new resolutions

Some people make resolutions in January.  I have waited until June.  Either I am very behind on the resolution making for 2009, or very early for 2010 – take your pick.

I did a cleanse under the supervision of my accupunturist at the end of May.  It was not one of the starve yourself and drink a mixture of honey, lemon juice and water cleanses – I literally could not stomach that!  This cleanse requires you to eat fruit, raw or very lightly cooked vegetables, vegetable broth, fruit and vegetable juices.  You are actually supposed to drink as much of the liquid as you can hold, so you feel oddly full all the time!  My one complaint was that I had to chew so much during the five days I did the cleanse!  Day three was the worst – the third or fourth day is when your body realizes that all the liquid in your system is not a fluke, and decides to clean house, dumping all the toxins out of your system.  I will not describe all the results of the toxins leaving your body, but I will say that I had a splitting head ache for about six or seven hours.  I very much appreciated a leisurely visit to the Serrins-Springfield household.  Spending time with friends who were willing to hang out with me, even when I felt pretty terrible was wonderful.  Debra even made a special steamed version of the vegetables so that I could join the family for dinner!

The good news?  when I woke up on day four, I felt amazingly refreshed and rested.  By the end of the cleanse my appatite was significantly reduced, and my craving for sweets is not nearly as strong.  My skin is so hydrated that when I get scratched by a dog, or my own clumsiness, there is almost no mark!  Karen was very pleased with my progress through the cleanse.  I am pretty excited myself.

I decided that it would be a good idea to continue to eat well after my cleanse.  Karen says my stomach will stay small as long as I do not stuff myself three times in quick succession (based on much anacdotal evidence).  I am working on eating several small meals five or six times a day.  This is probably easier for me than for most people, since I am lucky enough to work from home most days.

I am back to tracking my calories and nutrients on NutriMirror, which is a free website that helps you keep up with your food intake and exercise.  NutriMirror uses the food you log to calculate how much of a variety of substances such as calcium, vitamin C, iron, cholesterol, fat, carbs, etc. you take in through food or supplements.  It displays this information in graph form.  For substances you should have a certain amount of, say calcium, the graph is red until you consume enough of that substance during the day.  For substances that you only want a limited amount of, say sodium, the graph starts green, and turns red if you consume too much.  The goal is to have everything on the graph green.  I have come very close to all green on a few days – taking a multi-vitamin usually puts me over the top on the nutrients I need, but I have been trying to get as much as possible through food.  I have been slightly low on both iron and calcium.  I would appreciate suggestions of foods that will fill these gaps.

My workout habits have not been as stellar as my eating habits, which is very backward for me!  I have not met my workout goals for the past couple of weeks, and I have not worked out regularly since before I went to Singapore!  I will go work out with Debra tomorrow morning, so that will be a fresh start!  I am going to aim for 1000 minutes in the month of June.  I only did 120 minutes last week, but I think I can step it up to 300 minutes  per week for the remaining full weeks in June.  I would like to go back to Body Pump – I am really missing it, so I hope to do that on Wednesday.  I will go back to posting a workout summary every week – that way I know someone other than me is watching!  It is so silly, but I really need a coach/cheerleader to feel motivated.  I think this comes from years of having my dad right behind me in every endeavor – he never let me slack off.  He also never failed to tell me how proud he was of my progress – it is a pretty good deal!

Workout Summary 05-11 April 2009

I started out strong this week.  I did great working out while I was in North Carolina, but I fell off the wagon once I got home.  We had such a busy weekend that I just never made it back to the gym!

total minutes: 150

total calories: 1505

I will be traveling again at the end of this week, so I don’t know if I will do much better…  We shall see!

Workout Summary 29 March – 04 April

I got back on the wagon after my week in Florida!

Total minutes = 360
Total calories = 2378

Sunday – hiking, Monday – eliptical, Tuesday – Body Pump, Thursday – eliptical and Body Pump, Saturday – eliptical, Body Pump, and Yoga.

I am feeling good about this week.  I am in Wilmington, but I did go straight to the gym after checking into the hotel!  I am hoping I can keep up the momentum.

(non) Workout Summary 16-22 March 2009

Totally lame is the only way to describe my workouts this week.  So much for the theory that a strong start leads to a good week.  I went hiking on Sunday, and did body pump and yoga on Monday.   Thursday I did about 45 minutes are cardio.  This ads up to a paltry 165 minutes!

I do think I have a good reason, though.  On Tuesday I developed a crazy swollen lymph node behind my ear.  It was really painful and gave me a huge headache.  I was also completely exhausted.  I did not get sick, so I have to congratulate my immune system.  And rest was likely the best move to keep healthy.  So, bad for the workout schedule, but good for overall health.

This week is not looking much better…  we shall see what happens between now and the end of the week!

Pictures of the hike with Megan and Robert

I mentioned a hike with Megan and Robert, and Megan’s dogs, Reese and Anna, in a previous post.  Here are some pictures of the event.

Workout Summary 08-14 March

total minutes = 210

total calories = 1696

Well, down again this week. I did Body Pump on Tuesday and Thursday, and Cardio with Debra on Friday morning.

Being out of town on Saturday was one contributing factor.  Also, I did not work out last Sunday or Monday.  I have realized that if I don’t start the week with working out, I just don’t do as well all week!  This week started off strong thanks to the hike with Megan and Robert.  Also, I did Body Pump on Monday morning with Debra.  I was so glad to have her join me, and to get to try out Robyn’s class.

Workout Summary 01-07 March 2009

Total minutes = 360 (almost made it to 400!)

Total calories = 2727

I did Body Pump two days, cardio two days, and took a hike with the dogs two days.  I missed working out on Thursday due to crazy work stuff.

Exercise Summary 22-28 February

Total minutes: 235

Total calories: 1946

Obviously quite a dip after last week’s high.  The drop was partly due to a crazy work schedule, and partly due to our trip to Ft. Worth.

I did manage to do two Body Pump classes, and eliptical with Debra before leaving town.  The main thing that bummed me out (and hurt the numbers) was not getting to take the dogs for hikes in the park.  Work obligations just refused to get out of the way enough for me to make it to the park before sunset!

This week I hope to top last week’s numbers.  I will work out early with Debra on Tuesday and Friday – I am teaching classes at the office both days.  Today I will do Body Pump, in fact, I am about to leave to get to the gym.  Hopefully I will also make Body Pump on Thursday and Saturday.  Maybe I can even get a walk in somewhere…