Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.

notes on the body

After my last post and people's comments I decided I'd post a little bit about working out and so forth. But first I wanted to make sure that everyone understood that I was just joking about the "infamy" of the Odyssey 5 vid, and wasn't saying anything at all about its quality. Not that anyone has commented in regard to that. I'm just saying--respect my social paranoia!

So, I've lost close to 50 pounds since the beginning of the year; 30 since I began working out in mid-June. I've dropped 4 dress sizes (though I don't wear dresses, so maybe that's jeans sizes). I have about 60 more pounds to go. I've been working out three times a week with a physical trainer since June, and I highly recommend it. At first I was just thinking of doing the training on a more short-term basis, but now I'd be happy if I could fit it into my budget and schedule permanently. At least for the foreseeable future; probably cutting back to 2 sessions a week after I reach my goal weight. I can't help but think that finding the right trainer is like any kind of match-making, or finding the right therapist; if it wasn't such a good fit, personality and style-wise, I doubt I'd be very happy working out. I'm lucky, because she's amazingly good.

Right now as I said, I'm doing the training sessions--weight and mat work--three times a week, and cardio about five times a week. When I combine the two I'm at the gym for two hours or so. For cardio, I do the elliptical machine and treadmill. I've been gradually upping the intensity on both over the last few months. More recently I've been trying to build up running endurance on the treadmill; my longest time so far is 4 1/2 minutes. I get very jazzed by the running, because I've never been able to run before. Also, for a long time I've had a lot of problems with my calves, ankles, and the arches of my feet from being so heavy and sedentary. Lately all of these have been starting to feel much better, knock on wood.

Actually I've been a mess of problems--all those lower leg issues, plus pains in my shoulders, and sciatica-like pains along my left side, that recur from time to time, weird unilateral facial tingling, and so on. (What About Bob: "...dizziness, cold sweats, hot sweats, fever blisters, difficulty swallowing, involuntary trembling, numb lips...") But overall, things seem to be improving. Early during our work-outs, my trainer mentioned that as you lose weight a person's body can often purge itself of toxins, causing occasional feelings of vague unwellness, even nausea. It was one of the best things she could have told me, because it helps me from feeling discouraged. My normal assumptions and expectations about exercise would be that you'd feel completely energized and wonderful all the time--in fact, it's a bit more effortful than that, if you're very out of shape. But as time goes on I feel better and better.

Every now and then lately I will look sideways in a window or check myself out in a mirror and think, "I feel pretty, oh so pretty..." La la la. *g* And over the course of the last few months, I've pampered myself in a wide variety of ways--at least once for each of the following: pedicure, manicure, massage, foot reflexology, hair cut, hair color, bikini wax, under-arm wax, eyebrow wax, colon hydrotherapy (!). I've bought make-up, jewelry, new clothes, new glasses. I've taken the step of leaving my work lap-top at work instead of taking it home every night, thereby allowing me to retire my heavy backpack and carry only a light purse--easier on the shoulders.

I feel good. My new combo of anti-depressants seems to be helping too, as do my weekly therapy sessions. I said to my therapist this past week that I wished anti-depressants worked to fix our biochemical miswiring--that you could take them for a few weeks and then, presto, you were done. It doesn't escape me that certain degrees or kinds of wellness can be conditional on a steady job, insurance, money.

(My therapist called me a model of what one can do with structured leave time, by the way. I tried to look modest. *g*)

Anyway. I'd ask that people not offer cautionary advice or discouraging words--I mean, I doubt anyone is inclined to, but I like to occasionally point out the pretty white picket fence around my LJ. I believe that anti-depressants and therapy can have positive benefits, for example, and I'm not particularly interested in hosting opposing views, though of course anyone who feels differently is welcome to post about this elsewhere.

It's a cool and overcast day here in Seattle and I wish it were lunchtime so that I could go sit under the trees and read and eat my sandwich. It's a good day though. I feel happy. :>)
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