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Bouncy shoes and gettin’ fit
  • I finally got around to buying some new jeans, and I have gone down two sizes since January! First pair of pants I’ve ever bought with a size in the 30s instead of the 40s!

    I skipped the gym every day last week, though, and feelin’ kinda guilty about that. Really I shouldn’t think of it as too big of a deal though. I’ll get right back at it on Monday.

  • Do it! You go jb. Man. I’m fatter than I was. I feel 1st fattest. I dunno. I gotta lose so many pounds but am reluctant to get all obsessive about food, which I haaaave to do to make any difference. Also maybe if I had like a boob job or something I would look more proportional or like, hot. Or whatever. Omg unhealthy rhoughts! I’ve been thinking about starting a Pinterest called “leaning into it.” And it would just be huge boobs and thinspo.

  • ‘cocks, the thing is, you’re already hot. :-) but I get where you’re coming from. Part of it, I think, is that clothing designers/manufacturers really don’t make clothes to fit people, because then they wouldn’t look good in the ads. I hate that. I hate buying jeans especially, as nothing ever fits or looks good.

    Jeb, that is great news. Have fun on Monday. It’s a public holiday here tomorrow, and though I’m not planning any vigorous exercise I reckon I’ll be walking around a bit - there’s a big flower show on here this month that I haven’t seen yet, and I thought I’d take E to check it out, so I’ll walk around for a couple of hours, and probably carry him some of the time.

  • Thanks guys!

  • Cocks, what about giving yourself smaller, more easily reachable goals? I think that thinking about it as, “I need to be skinny” isn’t really helpful; it’s too much concentration on abstract goals that are usually unreachable anyway, since, well, when is a person thin enough? That shit is a slippery slope, given the especially unhealthy views our society takes on women’s bodies. You’re also spending a whole lot of time worrying about what you’re not, which, if anything, is just going to make you feel shitty, especially if you’re setting your goals based on some ill-defined, arbitrary societal goal of “looking good.” Give yourself small, concrete goals, and then when you reach them, make new ones. Focus on feeling healthier and getting fit, rather than becoming skinny. I wish I could give better advice about food—I thought that I was going to become obsessive once I started counting calories, but it never happened for me. It just became a thing that I do, and I tried to go easy on myself about it and keep realistic goals. But I know people for whom it becomes unhealthy, and they get focused on those numbers that, in the end, really don’t mean a whole lot, because it’s not about the numbers, it’s about changing your relationship with food.

    Oh, and speaking of numbers—a lot of people recommend given yourself a goal body fat percentage instead of a goal weight, since it’s less of an arbitrary indicator of healthfulness.

  • Every time I get set to start strength training I end up really intimidated by the sheer number of different exercises that go into a routine. It seems like there’s a certain amount of preparation and study that goes into it, and that (more than the actual workout) turns me off. Like part of the reason I found it so easy to incorporate all the cardio was that there was basically zero learning curve; I could just throw myself into it while listening to the radio, reading, or getting some fresh air. Tracking reps, sets, different muscle groups worked, etc., just strikes me as more than I really want to dedicate myself to with my time being absolutely precious these days.

  • Heading out for a run, my first in about a month. Let’s see how far my endurance has plummeted.

  • Every time I get set to start strength training I end up really intimidated by the sheer number of different exercises that go into a routine.

    Only five! Just five exercises! Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Barbell Rows! That’s it!

  • I was looking for that thread earlier! That exactly what I need because I can’t remember shit. I’ll try tomorrow morning!

  • I’ve started going to a personal trainer with a small group of friends once a week. They all started going a year ago, and I declined their offer to join because I didn’t want to pay to exercise. Turns out I kind of need some type of motivation outside of myself. The workout is something I’d never push myself to do on my own, and I actually really love doing it every week. I’m trying to go for a couple of jogs a week at a track behind a local high school, and am setting small goals for myself to build up my endurance and distance.

    Now I just need to start eating more vegetables! I’ve gained about 20 or 25 pounds since coming back to America, and am not particularly happy in my own skin.

  • So I’ve come to realize that the amount of time spent and the energy exerted at the gym has probably been doing me more harm than good lately. I’ve been hitting it really, really hard, and it’s not sustainable (not to mention factoring in to this month-long plateau that I seem to have hit). I’m going to take a week or maybe two off, and then go back in and try to tweak my workout some. I think the main thing is to ease up on the cardio some, since I pretty much just go go go with that shit, and I don’t think it’s good for me.

  • Bleeergh gained five pounds in the past month or so. Not freaking out or anything but it does suck to be back at the point where I told myself I was gonna hold the line, after almost two months of being consistently below that point. Stupid job with its stupid drinking every stupid day

  • man 5 pounds is nothin, you can handle it!

  • Word, Cocks is right!

    I’m hoping to get back to the gym tomorrow, as I haven’t gone in a little over two weeks now. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to switching to free weights as well, though I’m still really intimidated by the prospect.

  • As long as you use good technique and have a spotter, free weights ain’t no thing.

  • Even without a spotter, a lot of equipment has those catch-bars that you can use just in case you do a set to failure; I often fail on the last rep of bench-pressing, and the bar just kind of flaccidly floats down to the bars as I go “HRRRNH”, clanking into place harmlessly. And then I scuttle out from underneath it like a wee spider.

  • I lost my first 12 pounds on my new routine SUPER easily, but have since not made any progress (in approximately 2.5 weeks). It’s so easy to get discouraged and return to my beer drinking, nacho eating, day-napping habits when there is no change day to day.

  • Man, I would probably weigh less if there were no beer or nachos.

  • I’ve been doing yoga for about 3 months now. Found an awesome yoga instructor, and I’m doing weekly individual sessions with him. For the first time in a long time, I’m both enjoying a fitness activity and feeling comfortable that I’m not going to injure myself or trigger chronic pain stuff. Hit a slump the past few weeks (coinciding with feeling a bit depressed for a couple of weeks; feeling better now), but had a great session on Monday and am back in the groove of daily practice this week. It’s been pretty amazing—I’m noticeably stronger, my messed up IT band has gotten much much better, my endurance has improved a ton, and I no longer get shoulder pain at the end of a long day. I’ve either discontinued or reduced all my pain meds already. I feel good too at the end of practice—more energized and centered and happy.

    My goals currently are to continue increasing strength and endurance and also eventually to find more physical activities I feel comfortable doing now that my body and IT band are happier. I’m guessing if I stick with all of that, weight loss will happen (hasn’t yet, though I have more muscle and my posture is better), but I think I need to not make that an explicit goal for this to feel like a healthy/productive process. I do actually feel better about my body even if I don’t look different, which is pretty great. I am realizing that while I’d certainly really like to be thinner, feeling strong and capable might actually be even more valuable to me.

  • Yeah jess! this hot yoga place is having donations classes this weekend and I kinda wanna go. When I used to go to yoga 2 to 3 times a week that was the greatest I had felt in a long time, and I think I weighed the exact same as I do now.

  • Yay! So, so happy it’s making you feel so good. I don’t believe yoga ever made me lose a pound—even during long stretches when I was practicing more than seven times a week—but I did get better posture (dammit, I didn’t need that extra half inch). Unfortunately when I was in a “naturally relatively lean” period (see below) and practicing I did get toned, but what happens with me and any exercise is, I ask my muscles to please do something that involves supporting weight and they respond by hulking out and getting all bulky (especially my legs, backside, and back). Yes, I have tried pilates.

    It seems like pretty much since I reached my full height I’ve had kind of an “equilibrium weight,” and as long as I eat reasonably (i.e., don’t underfeed myself for some reason) I stay there. Big caveat would be certain medications that have made me pile on the pounds in the past, and then absolutely no combination of diet and exercise did a damn thing (calories in, calories out, blah, blah, blah—FALSE). It would be nice to be a little thinner right now (like maybe 2/3 of a clothing size?), and I should become a better cook so I eat even more vegetables, and I am quite excited that I am moving into a building with a gym!

  • Uh, by “better cook” I mean “cook,” because what I currently do is “prepare food.” See, by “even more vegetables” I would be referring to pretty much any cooked vegetables, as I currently eat a great deal of salad and raw vegetables and I can sort of roast vegetables if I try really hard but usually I mess it up and that is my skill set.

  • yessss said: I’ve either discontinued or reduced all my pain meds already. I feel good too at the end of practice—more energized and centered and happy.

    Oh yeah, this part is AWESOME, right? I have a muscular problem in one of my shoulders as a result of an old surgery that used to be so bad I resorted to a lidocaine patch just to get through the day but after like one month of yoga it hardly ever bothered me.

  • I stopped doing much yoga when I was around 6mos pregnant for a number of reasons. After I had her, my back was starting to hurt from various baby activities, like carrying her and letting myself hunch over her while she ate. I started going back to classes after five weeks, and as soon as I restarted the practice the pain went away. I’m slowly getting my good posture back..

  • My first slightly-too-personal question in the new format, hooray!

    So. I need someone to convince me to join Crossfit, or not.

    Long story short, I think I might be able to do it and keep up for the first time in my life. Tried an intro class, where myself and two others (both women in their 30s,) warmed up, then exercised, then I barfed in the parking lot. It’s about a mile from my house, and I pass it every day. Everyone there is in serious shape, so it clearly works if you’re devoted, as if my response to what they called the “baseline” wasn’t proof enough.

    But, it’s orders of magnitude more expensive than a “normal” gym membership (or an initial outlay on some basic gear for that matter, though I’m relatively well equipped at this point,) essentially to get some egging-on to make sure you’re at the limit, and I do worry about blowing out tendons doing plyometric intervals too early if the trainer isn’t sensitive to the fact that I am, despite being in much better shape than I’ve ever been, uh, bulky.

    So I don’t know. Has anyone tried this? I guess I should have asked that first.

  • jess, you have to do a pretty physical kind of yoga to expect much weight change, since it’s not particularly efficient cardio training. But

    yessss said:It’s been pretty amazing—I’m noticeably stronger, my messed up IT band has gotten much much better, my endurance has improved a ton, and I no longer get shoulder pain at the end of a long day. I’ve either discontinued or reduced all my pain meds already. I feel good too at the end of practice—more energized and centered and happy.

    especially being able to cut down on pain meds, is more important anyways. I’m glad it’s working out for ya.

    Myself, I’m trying to figure out whether to bite the bullet and take a yoga mat home to practice here more since I can’t get in to my yoga hut as often as I need, or bite the other bullet and like run or do weights or like that on the other days.

  • rwb said: My first slightly-too-personal question in the new format, hooray!

    So. I need someone to convince me to join Crossfit, or not.

    So I don’t know. Has anyone tried this? I guess I should have asked that first.

    I know a few people who did Crossfit for a while, and got cultishly into it shortly after joining. They all seemed to like it tons, but then they all kind of stopped eventually, I think mainly because it was expensive and hard to maintain that momentum. Of those people:

    • one I think does mostly calisthenics to keep in shape
    • one now does a mixure of powerlifting, running, and rock-climbing
    • a couple of others do almost entirely Starting-Strength-type powerlifting

    I did p90x for a while (which is free if you torrent it, and which you can do at home), and my cousin, who’d done Crossfit, said that it’s very similar — lots of full-body exercises of different types, including strength, cardio, plyometrics, and flexibility. Apparently, a bunch of people in his Crossfit class had also done p90x, either as a way to lead into Crossfitting, or as their main exercise program once they’d decided they couldn’t drop the cash on Crossfit anymore. You might look into that if you want a less-pricey alternative.

  • FYI, your cousin is no longer crossfitting very consistently and seems to have burned out. Such is the way of cultishness I suppose.

    A bunch of the girls in my program are super into it and love it, and one my good friends (who is Greg’s cousin’s roommate actually) is a crossfit trainer who just opened his own gym. That friend told me that it varies a lot trainer to trainer re: getting someone who won’t injure you if you have physical vulnerabilities—ideally, they can totally work with all sorts of people, but not all trainers are created equal. I’m actually planning on trying a session with him when I’m home for thanksgiving—my eventual plan is to try other fitness things in addition to the yoga, so I’m curious as to what it’s like.

  • Considering a new fitness cult, based solely on the working name Hare Crushin’yas.

  • Thanks for the feedback.

    The cultishness is definitely foisted upon you from the beginning; I was told I would need to join Facebook and basically that this would become my life if I joined. Fitness is appealing, but it’s all or nothing and they expect full commitment.

    I also did actually happen upon the p90x set a couple weeks ago (under funny circumstances but I won’t get into that,) but haven’t touched them yet. The presentation is tacky, but it definitely looks like it’ll be tiring. I’ll try some of it today I guess and see how I feel.

    Crossfit’s biggest draw was the motivational aspects: You’re scheduled to come in at a certain time, and while you’re there you’re under pressure to do the maximum possible. I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to keep up something like p90x without someone to call me a weakling loser when I don’t feel like pushing myself, and I don’t really have any friends that are interested in kicking their own asses with me.

    Seems like the simple answer is that I just need to be harder on myself, but obviously that’s not easy to maintain. Do you guys find that having someone at a roughly similar fitness level to compare/contrast/compete with is helpful? Or are there any good ideas for maintaining the drive?

  • I feel like you really need to find someone who is on the same level as you, and have regular workout meetings with them. I’m taking a class once a week with four friends and a personal trainer — it’s only $10/week for each of us, which is great, and that little bit of money (we pre-pay for a full month and if we don’t make it in, we lose the money for that week) and reliance on each other helps a lot. Maybe if you got a gym membership with a friend and made two or three weekly scheduled appointments, that could help?

    I’m just now starting to really get into it. My ass was kicked into gear yesterday when I tried on a ring and found that it no longer fits me. Now I am sore as hell from a workout DVD that I did last night, but it’s a good kind of sore. You know.

  • I have only ever made progress with fitness stuff when working regularly with a trainer. Personally, I don’t think having someone be harsh with me is helpful (none of my trainers were like that at all), but rather someone encouraging me and having a weekly appt that gets me back on track if I lose motivation over the week seems key. I lost a lot of weight and got way more fit working with someone for about a year when I was in my early 20s (but stopped working with her when I moved and then stopped keeping up with it all), and right now I’m sure I wouldn’t be doing yoga consistently (or probably any fitness activities) without seeing the guy I’m working with.

  • holy crap crossfit is expensive. it sounded good to run around and play on equipment at a place close to my house on a set schedule (i had an ultra cheap gym membership, but it was completely out of my way, so i never went), but the place near me wants you to take a $200 entry class then pay $150 dollars a month. and i live in a fairly cheap city, so i can’t imagine what it’s like in nyc or somewhere.

  • Gonna go out on a judgmental limb and say that Crossfit sounds like a really good way for people with disproportionate amounts of money and self esteem to right that balance

  • Yeah, here it’s $200 for 3 one-on-one sessions, required to start out, then $200/month. I’m not going to disagree with miles, but it has its merits if you can afford it and need new a new set of friends. But I’m not sure if I can, and I don’t, really.

    I should also say, the trainers are actually very nice folks, it’s just my self-directed internal monologue when I’m being lazy is pretty mean-spirited.

    Morgan, Jess, I think you’re probably right that something like a personal trainer, split a couple ways or even just seen once a month for some advice while living a normal, but healthy life is a better idea that splurging on a rigid structure and brute force motivation.

    Just making “exercise appointments” also isn’t a bad idea. I super hate gyms though, and something feels weird about inviting someone over to lift weights, but I guess that’s what needs to be overcome.

    Or I could just swallow Tony Horton’s bullshit and jump around in front of the tv. Choices.

  • One of the few things open in the neighborhood this morning is the gym! Gonna hit that shit up after I brew this beer.

  • Do you guys find that having someone at a roughly similar fitness level to compare/contrast/compete with is helpful?

    Absolutely not; I generally work out alone, because the second I bring other humans into it, the oppositional-identity part of my brain kicks in and I’m like, “FUCK YOU I DON’T NEED TO RUN FASTER THAN YOU, I DON’T NEED TO RUN AT ALL, YOU’RE NOT EVEN MY REAL DAD”

  • That being said, I think one of the reasons I ended up liking Tony Horton is that he seems more like a muppet than like a real human, so it was kind of like Elmo telling me I was doing such a good job with my letters

  • hahaha that’s how I am too.

  • Did you know that Tony Horton, when dressed up, looks way too much like Ted Allen?

    Which is a good segue into…

    Nutrition! I almost made a new thread for this but I figure it fits here. I stole some of my local Crossfit’s ideas on feeding yourself correctly, which were surprisingly similar to the BS I’d made up based on my own experience: don’t eat any carbs unless you’re doing massif cardio, and basically stick to dark greens, fatty meat, and protein-rich food.

    I was a stonemason tender for a year and a half (long story) and lost about 40lbs eating way more than I ever had before. When I got a job with a desk again, I calmed down on the food and lost another 40lbs pretty rapidly by refusing to get all fat again and eating very carefully. I’ve since gained a little bit of that back, partially with a fair amount of semi-structured exercise, but also partially with not paying close attention to food, which is probably negating some benefits of the exercise.

    A lot of what I’ve heard recently goes against conventional wisdom but is also what worked very well for me when I stopped hoisting boulders all day and became more sedentary while still dropping weight, namely that fat is actually one of the best things you can eat for recovery and can help with weight, and that processed carbs are in fact the devil unless you run ultramarathons all the time.

    Is anyone here a nutritionist / does anyone have any smart friends who are? It seems like a lot of said conventional wisdom has changed in the past 5 years and I’m wondering if my own experiments are on the right track, or if I’m just baiting a coronary by doing intervals and eating ground ribeye and sauteed kale.

  • I’m thinking about joining a gym in town. It’s six minutes away and has a childcare center, so I could go whenever I wanted. They have a really packed class schedule and I think classes are the thing I’d do, not so much the regular equipment. Nervous about it though. Sweating in public!

  • I recently added before-and-after push-ups to my runs, and you know what, my shoulders are broader and girls check me out more.

  • So my final project for my Biology requires me to use https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/ to keep track of my exercise and diet for a week. Doing this has immediately made me not eat certain things for fear of feeling guilty. Apparently I ate 1000mg more sodium yesterday than I was supposed to? Weird.

  • Yeah, food tracking is what made us stop eating so much junk. All that sodium!!

    The boy and I recently got FitBits, and it’s been pretty awesome. I am torn between being embarrassed that I have an expensive pedometer clipped to me and super excited that I can see a graph of every time I rolled over during the night. Also? It tells me how quickly I move at all times. I walk at 3 Mph to go to the bathroom at work, but only 2.5 mph to drag myself from the metro to class. The more you know!

  • That sounds kind of delightful!

  • Yeah that sounds like an awesome way to get nerds excited about fitness. Hmmm.

  • I bought a fancy Garmin watch for Bill last year. He already loved running by then, but now he loves running AND has graphs and maps. He’s so excited about all of it.

  • K is a compulsive sort about stats & graphs so she’s definitely gone thru pedometer phases where she’ll be pacing back and forth before bed just to get her 10,000/steps per day goal. Me, I need goals but I think more in terms of distance. I really dont know exactly how far I go on my runs, but I know exactly where I’ll turn around. No way I’d ever turn around earlier unless I’d injured myself so severely that the endorphins weren’t masking the pain.

  • I need goals but I think more in terms of distance.

    I use http://www.mapmyrun.com to figure out distance; it’s particularly good if I’m running someplace unfamiliar, like when visiting family, and am trying to figure out where to run to in order to cover the same distances I know by heart in my neighborhood.

  • I want one of those cool (if somewhat dorky) bracelets that measure your heart rate, sleeping and movement throughout the day. That’s some future equipment right there…

    I use map my run as well sometimes, but my usual route around the lake is about 5k, which seems optimal for me at this point.

  • Hey now, fitting back into my old jeans, sweet.