Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Hiatus is Over!

To celebrate the fall season, I decided it was time to dust some things off.

First, this blog. I’m back from hiatus, not because I’m done with the book (I’ll let you know when that not-so-small feat is complete), but because I’ve missed Lynn’s Weigh and you and I keep writing blogs in my head and it’s getting really annoying not having a place to write them all down.

I also dusted off an old nemesis-turned-friend in the garage: my stationary bike. I bought the bike used seven or eight years ago when I thought I was ready to exercise and lose weight, but all it did was serve as a clothes rack. The few times I tried it when I weighed 300 pounds, I could barely do two minutes on low without feeling like my lungs and thighs would break. Of course, rather than keep at it and get progressively stronger, I called myself “fat” and “useless” and gave up. Even when I got serious about losing weight in 2005 I didn’t ride the bike because I didn’t want to get frustrated and give up. My psyche was still that fragile. Losing weight was all I could do at the time. Adding exercise could have hampered my efforts because I was afraid to know just how much riding I still couldn’t do even after losing 50 or 100 pounds.

I realize now how sad that is and I don’t advocate not exercising because of fear of failure, no matter how much you have to lose, but that was my reality. The good news is that I feel empathy for the 300-, the 250-, and the 200-pound me who was afraid. I don’t beat myself up for being afraid of failure. I chose, instead, to learn from it.

This lesson came in real handy last Sunday.

I do my strength training at home three days a week. On those days, I do 15-20 minutes of cardio to warm up and then 45 minutes of lifting dumbbells and the barbell while mixing in a few ab/core exercises. I usually warm up on the elliptical since it used to be the only piece of cardio equipment I had in the house. Then I remembered my bike in the garage. On Sunday, my husband and I hauled it to the porch where I dusted it off before hauling it into my “gym.”

I was feeling really confidant. After all, I ride my real bike for 60-90 minutes and work out on cardio equipment at the gym for 40-60. What was 15-20 minutes on a stationary bike? Piece of cake, right?

Um…that would be the big NO.

My thighs were yodeling – I mean they were SCREAMING – by minute 15. Granted, I didn’t have it on low. I had it cranked pretty high. But still, my thighs were saying, “What the…? Remember what we told you back in 2001 when you tried this?” I lowered the resistance for the next four minutes, but cranked it up really high for the last minute just so I, not my thighs, could get in the last word.

That bike kicked my ass! That I could do two minutes when I was 300 pounds is amazing to me now and I wish I hadn’t given up. Of course, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been 300 pounds in the first place, but we can’t live our lives looking back, now can we?

I have some “new friends” on order that I hope will shake up my body a little more, too. I love Perform Better. They have the best variety of exercise equipment I’ve seen on the Internet, and their prices on hand weights are very reasonable. It’s time to up the weights I use for the triceps kick-backs, but no retail outlet I’ve been to has 6-pound dumbbells. Perform Better does, so I ordered a pair yesterday. They have all those odd sizes. I’ll probably get the 7-pound weights next year when I’m ready to up the pounds again. I have to stay ahead of my batwings!

I also put a bid on eBay for an aerobics stepper, you know the kind with a platform and two risers that will take the step from 4 to 6 to 8 inches high? I don’t plan to do step aerobics (that kills my knees), but I want to use the platform for calf raises and for some low-impact lower body work. I’ll know tonight if I won the auction. If not, I’m sure there will be others listed.

So how have you all been? Have you made any new exercise “friends?” Tell us about them. What do you do to switch things up from time to time? You ARE switching things up once in awhile, right?

It’s good to be back! I’ll be in touch very soon.

12 comments:

  1. Lynn - Glad to see you back posting on this blog! I love to read it, and take inspiration from your maintenance.

    You had stopped by and asked if you could link to my blog - and you certainly may (http://findingradiance.blogspot.com).

    I try to change up my exercise routines every 6 - 8 weeks or so. I got a book out of the library called the 28 Day Body Shapeover, and have loved the strength training routines in it.

    I am going to have to get a new cardio routine soon, as jogging and biking will be out :)

    I have been eyeing the Firm's new WAVE, since I love their workouts, but not ready to plunk down the $$.

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  2. Hey! I missed you!

    You are so inspiring, with the story of the bike. What's really inspiring is, I come to your blog and I always see that picture of you, all fit and thin looking, even in a SLEEVELESS top, and I forget you were ever overweight at all. And when you say "when I was 300 pounds" it's like, "WHAAAT??" Because the person you are now, I can never imagine having been 300 pounds. So, that gives me a lot of hope that I can change.

    On the topic... I have to say I love and adore my exercise bike. It's recumbent, so as not to irritate my horrible knees, but it really is a workout. I was riding 30 minutes a day for a long time but I did have to work up from 2 minutes. The first time was awful. I was exhausted after 2 minutes on NO resistance. Now I can ride 30, with resistance set around 5. Not bad. I need to do it more often... I have slacked. I also very much enjoy walking. You get to see your neighborhood, the trees changing colors, the flowers people plant, the squirrels... it's just relaxing. Again I have to limit it, and I won't be walking a long distance until I get a knee replacement, but if you can walk it is a great pleasure.

    I've been really, really struggling... most of it is probably emotionally based so I dunno how I am going to fix it, but I will. I refuse to gain it all back.

    Anyway, good to see you :)

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  3. I find that when I switch machines initially the new machine seems much more challenging than the old one. I switched from the elliptical to the arc trainer, and at first 15 minutes was a challenge. But after a week of sticking with it I got up to my usual time of 45 min. I can tell my body is adjusting to the type of motion I do on that machine, and before I can get used to it I plan to try out the treadmill and one of my worst fears - jogging. My joints and lungs hate jogging, so it will be the perfect challenge.

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  4. I was just thinking about you today! I am so glad you are back really missed your blogs. The only new thing for me is I am trying out Zumba and I have realized I love it! I am so not good at it but all the calories I am burning make it worth it. Glad you stopped in cannot wait to hear more.

    Mara
    http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hi guys! Glad you didn't abandon me :)

    Lori, I've got you linked. Thanks!

    Lyn, you KNOW you can do this because you ARE doing it. Emotional stuff sucks and gets in the way, but being aware of it is 99 percent of it. Man, if I had a dollar for every pound I gained while I was UNAWARE how emotions play into weight gain, I'd be able to bail out Wall Street!

    Colleen, love what you said about your lungs "hate" jogging. I tried jogging once and I thought I would die! I admire runners so very very much. Good luck to you. I bow in your direction.

    Hi, Mara!!

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  6. You *are* an inspiration. I'm struggling to get back to WW and do all the right things. An exercise bike is on my Xmas list. It has a spot in the living room already. :)

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  7. SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK, LYNN!!! I just wrote about you in my blog post this morning (you even have it listed over there in your sidebar. thank you.) Boy, that is so funny about the stationary bike. Earlier this year I was doing a walking challenge, and some of the girls were logging their miles on the stationary bike. I was grousing a bit about this, until I was at my friend's house and decided to do 15 minutes on her stationary bike--piece of cake, just like you said...NOT, just like you said! I wonder what the difference is between that and a regular bike. I guess it is just the constancy of it, where on a regular bike you get to coast once in a while.

    Anyways, I am so glad you are back!!

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  8. Missed you Lynn! It is not the same without you. You you wrote some wise words to me about how the exercise and the weighloss where two totally different things. The exercise was not just to lose the weight, but for long term health. I have that in my head. I still have not made it to my "gym" because I fear that I will start and fail. I have been doing so well with being sugar free for 75 days. Not even a tiny bite of chocolate has passed through my lips. I trust myself with the no sugar way of life, but am not there yet with the exercise. I really want to get there and your blog today really helped! I appreciate you sharing your many gifts with us.

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  9. What a welcomed suprise! I was checking in to see if you happened to post. I am glad you are back, I could use that extra motivation you give me by reading your posts!!

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  10. Great to see a post from you. I'm always checking to see if you're writing again. I'm amazed how much you've accomplished and how you really have found the true success of weight loss.

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  11. Hi, Shawnda, Joy, Debby, bbubblyb, Tisha, pubsgal...so glad you didn't abandon this ship!

    Debby I'm on my way to read what you wrote. I always get a little nervous when someone says they wrote about me. Not sure if that's always a good thing - LOL!

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