Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bat Wings Be Damned!

I have to be honest, as that's what this site is really about.  I haven't been good.  I have been eating garbage and not working out as much as I should.  Do I feel guilty?  A little.  Ah well.  "To err is human; to forgive, divine." ~Alexander Pope   In that spirit, I forgive me.

But herein lies the trouble with giving myself the summer 'off':  November 3 marks the 6 month countdown to my wedding.  Uh-oh.  It's almost time for dress fittings!

So here starts my renewed effort to get with the program.  Back to the gym 4-5 times a week.  Back to watching what I eat.  Back to all of the things that I know I should have been doing all along.  I hope to drop 15 lbs. by the wedding.  I don't want to lose so much that my dress needs extensive alterations!

Most of all, I have to tone up these arms!  I don't need my 'bat wings' flappin' in the breeze while I try to dance the night away!  And for this very reason, I am going to start doing more weight training.  Mandatory.  Previously, I have focused primarily on cardio and keeping my heart rate up.  This time around, I'll pump more iron.  Gotta do it.  And they say that muscle burns fat anyway, so it should be a win-win!  Unless I can't lift my arms to brush my teeth.  Or my hair.  Should all be worth it in the end!

I need a new mantra though.  Something that captures my goals in a catchy little phrase.  Hmmm... I think I've got it!

"Bat wings be damned!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Working out hard leaves me red-faced, literally.  And because of it, the people who approach me to ask if I'm going to be okay don't see how I blush in embarrassment and shame.  Remember people, just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Now, I acknowledge that after an hour of cardio, I do look a little frightening.  My hair is all over and my face is beet red.  I'm not exaggerating about the color of red.  People constantly ask me if I'm okay, like I might stroke out any second.  I wish I could stop it from happening, but I can't.  If I'm too warm, I turn red.  If I'm embarrassed, I turn red.  If I have been exerting myself, I turn red.  The moral of the story?  More often than not- my face is day-glow red.  What can I say?  I like to stand out in a crowd.

In previous posts, I have told you that I don't dress up or put on make-up to go to the gym so you know I don't care much what I look like there.  However, this one thing that I cannot control or cover-up constantly causes me grief.  I know that my post-workout face could lead Santa through a whiteout blizzard on Christmas Eve; I just choose not to look at it.

Please don't misunderstand me; I appreciate the concern of these people who don't know me from the Tooth Fairy, but fielding these questions almost every single time I exercise has literally chased me out of the gym.  I work out at home now because at least there no one asks me if I need to sit down for a minute.  I like being anonymous at the gym.  I like to go, get it done and get the hell out of there.

By all means, if someone looks like they need immediate medical attention- ask.  Just don't be offended if it ends up being me and I clench my fists, stare you down and through gritted teeth mutter, "For the thousandth time, I'm fine.  My face is just red."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Does Lean = Mean?

Tell me ladies, what's up with all of the mean muggin' at the gym!?  We are all there for the same basic purpose, right?  Personally, I treat it like if I were passing someone on a narrow sidewalk.  I stay out of everyone else's way if possible.  But if we happen to occupy the same space at the same time, I smile and make eye contact and say "Excuse me."  Sounds simple enough, right?  That's where you'd be wrong.

In most cases like this, I find the lady I am trying to move past glaring at me like I just stepped on her kitten.  Why?  I'm not racing them to their machine.  I'm not showing off my muscular physique (HA!) in tiny clothes and chatting up their man.  Mostly, I am trying to churn out my cardio and make a run for it.  I like to get in, get it done, and get out.  I wish like hell that I was an exercise lover, but alas, it isn't to be!

So, why do rules of engagement and politeness not apply at the gym?  Like it or not, we all have to be there at some point.  Why not make the best of it?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to form lifelong bonds while I'm there.  I'd just rather not have the other people staring daggers at me the whole time.  Maybe I have broken some unspoken gym rule?  If so, merely say so.  Gym-savvy is definitely not how I'd describe myself!

As for me, I am choosing the higher path.  Well, if by higher path you thought I meant chanting the "Golden Rule" repeatedly as if I were on a grade school playground, then you'd have hit the nail on the head...  Look at me being a grown up!  

Monday, June 24, 2013

IBS: Icky Belly Syndrome

You always hear talk of people who exercise to 'get healthy,' not to lose weight.  They make their weight loss take a backseat to the simple pleasure of feeling better every day.  Truth be told, I used to roll my eyes at those people.  Now I find that I might just be one of them.

                 **I warn you-- this post is chock full of TMI.  Read at your own risk.**

I, just like millions of people, suffer from IBS.  As I have gotten older, mine has flip-flopped on me.  It's no longer the fear of not being able to get to the bathroom fast enough.  It's now the wonder at why I never need one at all.

For some time, I seemed to have my symptoms under control.  Now?  Every day of my life, I feel like that poor deer that has been lying on the side of the road in mid-August heat for a week.  Miserably bloated.  Just poking my tummy makes me wince in pain.  Trust me; this is no way to live.  My jeans barely button and only my men's XL t-shirts cover the 6-month-pregnant belly I'm sporting.  Not that there's anything wrong with that pregnant belly, IF in fact you are pregnant.  I, however, am not.

To help find a solution to my daily agony, I have been doing tons of research on IBS and most every article reads the same way:  keep a food journal (even though most doctors will tell you that food triggers are uncommon with IBS), hydrate, add fiber, and get in 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 times a week.  I do most of these things.  I am getting in my 10,000 steps a day.  I drink water.  I take a fiber supplement.  But I am not losing weight and I am not controlling my symptoms of IBS.  Therefore, I am issuing myself the challenge of putting the exercise Rx to the test.  I vow to hit the gym a few times a week again, solely with the plan to see if my IBS will improve.

Currently, I find myself miserable more often than not.  I just want to feel normal.  Thus, I am becoming one of those people I used to roll my eyes at.  I am someone who is going to the gym to feel better- not look better.  Don't get me wrong, if a few of these extra pounds fall off in the process, all the better.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wedding as a Motivation?

I have been trying to motivate myself more lately.  In short, it's not working.

I have a wedding coming up... MINE!  But still I am finding myself lacking in the motivation department.  I refrained from buying my dress too small to get my butt in gear.  (Not that I had a choice... the floor model IS my dress.  Last of it's kind.)  In fact, my dress fits perfectly as is.

Truly what I want to look better in my dress is not only shrinking my waistline (certainly couldn't hurt!) but having my arms and back look better in it.  After all, that's mostly what people see.  And I am dreading the possibility of back-fat dripping over the top of my dress.  And the armpit fat.  What the hell is that anyway!?

Here lies my predicament:  I despise weight training.  And the machines at the gym might as well have come from Mars along with men.  They should be easy with the diagrams, but having all of those buff people wandering around snickering when I am using a leg machine for my arms doesn't help my confidence level.  I know there are people to ask during the day, but I often go to the gym after-hours and don't know that I'd have the nerve to ask.  I know, I am a gutless wonder.

So, I am going to challenge myself to learn at least one new machine every month between now and the wedding.  I have some time, but that runs out faster than I anticipate, so I might as well get started.  No time better than the present as they say!  Or was it 'no present better than time?'

Either way, the best present I will give myself is a better wedding photo (other than a handsome-as-hell hubby).  Then maybe I'll be able to hang one on my wall.  Maybe.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

40 Days & Nights Without? Not This Time!

Last year, when I gave up soda for Lent, my weight didn't budge.  My mom thinks I am crazy for giving anything up at all.  So this year, I am going to try something a little different.  THIS year, I am going to add something every day for 40 days and 40 nights.

Is your curiosity peaked?  Here goes:  I am going to add exercises to my every day. They are as follows:

                       50 Crunches
                       25 Push Ups
                       50 Squats
                       25 Chair Dips

Doesn't sound like a lot, does it?  But I have a feeling by Day 40, I will be cursing myself for taking on this endeavor.  Fatigue and my crazy schedule means making time for anything extra is never as easy as it first appears.

Keep in mind that I am also headed to Mexico for a week.  It will no doubt be a real treat, but exercising on vacation?  Yuck.  And when you factor in that I am terrified for my fiance to see me exercise, this could be harder than it sounds.  But isn't that the point?  To challenge yourself?  To give something up is one thing; a very deprived feeling often follows.  To challenge yourself to add a little exercise into your every day routine is another, hopefully more positive thing.  I think it will pay off in confidence and for that reason, I am reluctant to measure my biceps and such beforehand.  I'd much rather judge it by how I look in a tank top or how my jeans fit.

So here goes nothing!  Care to join me?


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting Creative

Due to recent developments in my family and household, someone is required to be at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Obviously, this makes getting to the gym almost impossible.  So I says to myself, "Self?  We have a vacation coming up-- how in the world will we get into any kind of shape to cram ourselves into a bikini?"

Thus, I dance at my desk.  I kid you not.

Let me begin by saying that I work alone.  In an entire office by myself.  My office is very large (and cold- the dancing warms me up), and I got this crazy idea from a couple of places.
  1. Everywhere on the internet I see videos and articles talking about exercising at your desk.  
  2. I wear a Fitbit every day.  For those of you who don't know, a Fitbit is a pedometer that talks to your computer via Bluetooth and a nifty little USB 'dongle.'
  3. I was taking a Zumba class every Monday that had my step-count soaring!
I know it sounds loony, and I think if anyone caught me, they'd stand and stare until they gathered  their wits enough to point and laugh.  I don't dance here constantly, but I try to get up once an hour and shake my groove thing for at least half a song.  Picture this:  Me, by myself, hopping and jiving around my office to either Pink, Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees.  Oh yeah.  Look at me go.  The nice thing about dancing alone is when you almost trip over your own feet and face-plant on the corner of a table-- there is no one to laugh at you but yourself.

Not only has this helped me get in my steps and a little calorie burn, but I am genuinely happier throughout the day with more energy.  Sounds corny, right?  But when you are as enthusiastic and clumsy as I am, there are plenty of reasons to laugh.

So, I say:  Try it.  Why not?  Busy office?  Close the door and pull the shades.  Shimmy while you are on hold with a customer.  Dance when the elevator doors close.  Boogie down when you have the bathroom to yourself.  

Then let your coworkers wonder why you have this goofy grin on your face more often than not.  It'll be our little secret!

Friday, January 4, 2013


This year, I have resolved not to make any resolutions.  Not only did the New Year pass without me even noticing between family events and my engagement!!  But I think not setting myself up for disappointment this year is the way to go.

I now have a wedding to plan and save for.  That alone is a daunting task.  Feeling guilty a few months from now when I miss a day at the gym or eat something fried and smothered in butter is not something I am going to have time for this year.

Of course I want to slim down for my wedding, but the last few days of being sick and waking up late have even had me forgetting my beloved FitBit at home.  Clipping it on my jeans had become second nature, but even that has gone by the wayside.  Feeling bad about it?  Yes I am.  For now.  But I am choosing to let it go.

I guess I have made a resolution after all.  I resolve to be human.  I resolve to make mistakes.  I resolve to make a note of those mistakes, and then let them go.

A very wise, beautiful, amazing woman (Thank you, Grams!) once told me that by your 35th birthday, you are too old for guilt trips.  I guess I am a little ahead of my time.

If you have made resolutions, good for you!  Do your best.  If sometimes you fall short, so be it.  You deserve to live a guilt-free life.  We all do.  We cut our friends, families, coworkers, bosses and countless others some slack.  Now it's time we do that same favor for ourselves.

Guilt trips be gone!