Let me preface this by saying I have an overly abundant kitchen sink today and will likely not get much else posted today or this week as far as actual session recapping. It was a review day, same List from Monday, and since Monday was so deeply technical, a lot of what we did today skimmed lightly across that while at the same time adding enhancement, encouragement, constructive form critique. I have also gone a couple of days without posting here – damn work-work – and some of today’s post covers events and such from Tuesday and Wednesday as well.
Thursday morning, training with J. Review day, peppy pacing, lots of minor enhancement critique. Perhaps it is the sunny days or the club’s interior facelift, but I am just a ridiculously excited bundle of energy today.
Yep, our club is being remodeled, updated, improved – pick your term. Our former body fit room where the small group training classes were conducted has been moved upstairs, and the former space is presently home to a number of older machines. Since this happened sometime in the middle of the day yesterday, J was texting me last night to not freak out when I arrived today for our session. As it was, I had planned to meet a training tribe sister for an extra practice last night, so I got to see what the maintenance/construction crews had been doing first hand. It is quite different. However, rather than freaked out, I am actually quite curious about the changes ahead and how it will work out. Because while I can easily imagine the downsides of what they have done, I can kind of see why they did it. As time passes, present members will adapt and adjust and new members will not know anything different.
The positives though? It seems to me there will be additional open space both upstairs and downstairs. The new body fit area seems more spacious, plus the big metal box that has replaced the former TRX A-frame offers a lot more versatility. Much of it is probably things I do not now nor will I use in the future, but I am not the only member in the club and my training is not generic and just like everyone else. The few simple things I use the TRX frame for, though, will be easier and better. More open space is always welcome. I may have to pull up my big-girl capris and start spending quality practice time in the big boys’ room. I can certainly work at developing a more steely gaze to deal with the small percentage of bozos who might want to hassle me about equipment or space I am utilizing down there.
The tradeoff is that some equipment seems to have been removed from the club, which is not happiness-inducing. The bodyfit space is more open, the cardio crew may not appreciate the music the trainers play while using that area. Complaints about everything from equipment removed to the new layout to having to climb the stairs are already abounding, but change is hard sometimes.
Either way, club management will do whatever they wish to do, whether I like it or not. To my way of thinking, this is a new challenge and adventure J and I navigate together, and from that, there is no downside. I HATE that the big corporate mindset does not take the trainers-on-the-ground input into consideration when evaluating plans and design changes. I HATE the big corporate mindset that did not advise members other than some signs in the impacted areas. They plaster notices about other stuff on ever door in the place, on every mirror in the ladies room, yet about a club remodel? Notices in places in the club I do not venture, and had J not told me about it a few weeks ago, I would have just been shocked by it.
Which is probably why I do not work for a big corporation.
So with all that stuff going on around us, we pursued peppy pacing this morning to complete our work within the 60 minute Thursday block. My thoracic arch is improved and improving, and I am very happy with my progress on this List. While we were going through the bench dumbbell pullovers, J remarked upon the increased flexibility in my shoulders. Since he highlighted the remarkable difference in my shoulder flex between my left and right shoulders, I have spent the last 2 days paying a lot of attention to my right shoulder and focusing on loosening it up as much as possible in warm-ups and every other occasion I have to use it. Today, being more mindful is starting to pay some dividends. I could feel it more – not in bad or painful ways – and just paid attention to my form and movement to ensure it was not about to turn into something bad or painful. I’m rewarded in seeing the dumbbell much, much farther over my head, and my arch more pronounced.
Things are looking up. I clearly remember the early days of doing these and being barely able to get the weight over my head, much less having to reposition to ensure I wasn’t banging it on the bench.
Change – it’s in the air. Not just in the club’s physical landscape, but perhaps I am starting to truly recognize the physical changes in body as well as it my heart and mind.
I’m a lot more flexible and relaxed in life these days, so it’s not just my shoulders. The remodeling of the gym not so long ago would have had me feeling anxious and tugging at my invisibility cloak. Practicing with my tribe sister K last night, we were talking exercise clothes and how I don’t care much about how I look in the things I choose to wear to the gym. I love my gym clothes and I feel good in them. I’m unlikely to be the fit and skinny girl, so why not own the getting fitter woman I am right now? I suppose I could run amok with my Lists in shapeless, baggy clothes just as well, but I doubt I would feel better about the work. Frankly, I simply stopped caring much what others think or having any concerns about someone look at me.
I get that reshaping my shape seems to go in fits and starts, or I am mostly oblivious to my reshaping shape. It is ridiculously exciting to find that an experimental smaller sized piece of clothing does not quite fit right in the upper arms and shoulder across the back and not because of batwings and back flab, but because I have grown some muscle on my frame. While I keep my expectations low so I can be wholly focused on the work, the changes continue to sneak up on me. Body has more muscle now, and that muscle is starting to show through any remaining fat.
While drying my hair on Sunday I noticed that I could see the faint outline of the bottom of my ribcage and that I was starting to develop more of a defined waist. I do not do a lot of ab-specific core work, although I do have an entire List devoted to it. There have been a fair amount of exercises sprinkled throughout Lists that focus on the obliques, so perhaps that is the culprit. Or maybe body’s way of shedding fat in the last on, first off method is finally starting to pay attention to the abdominal area.
I have no idea. I do not want to dwell on it too much, because then I will start to get distracted by distress that change is not happening sooner or faster. Other than the weights I am moving or the number of sets and rep counts per, I do not like to be keeping score on progress. The daily get up, get to the gym, do the work process can be difficult enough without the added stressure of demands for results.
And anymore, I am not even sure I can describe the process as difficult. I love starting my days with exercise anymore, because there is nothing that compares to the sense of satisfaction that comes from completing my List of the day. I rarely speak of it, because this is my new normal, but the difference in physical and mental energy is pretty amazing. Before experiencing it myself, I always thought M and others who exercised regularly were some sort of weird species of human that enjoyed getting sweaty and gross from exercise. I thought it strange how much they enjoyed the exercise activity itself.
I feel differently now. Probably I am part of the weird species of human being as well now.
All this change inside the club reminds me how far I’ve come in nearly 2 years. I’m not freaked out, more curious. I’m also not feeling much like the high-maintenance or special needs client I once was, and that is both a big thrill as well as a huge relief. There are new friends in the tribe that I see routinely and reminds me I’m part of a community of smart and interesting people.
Which brings me to my next project – working on fat loss.
Now, I know that I have done a lot of work in this area, almost by accident. I mean, I know I get up at least 6 days and spend an hour, 90 minutes in the gym moving weight of some sort to and fro. Do enough of that correct and almost cannot avoid burning fat and building muscle.
Unfortunately diet has a role in reshaping my shape. Cosmetically, I do think about it, but it’s almost an abstract thing, like some far off dream that I dare not get too involved with because it is less likely to be a success point. Whether that’s me being lazy about counting calories or tracking food consumption or some belief system that weight gain and less physical attractiveness is part of aging I cannot be completely certain. I know I have improved my eating habits over the course of time. It would be impossible for me to spend this much time in the gym and not at least try to eat less crap food. I was telling J this morning about eating a cheeseburger last week and sort of wishing for a salad instead. Not because I felt guilty about eating it – I no longer feel guilty about anything I do in the food realm, because I have a good understanding of the consequences of my choices – but because my tastes are changing and the salad appeals more to my sense of taste and desire for texture. I still eat plenty of crap; I have no concerns of running out of crap food choices to consume on a whim.
To that end, I’m embarking on what I expect will be a very
rough interesting 27 days of adventure eating, because I have signed up for a 27 day fat lot prescription program. While patiently awaiting next Thursday’s kick-off, I am already expecting and preparing for a relatively severe limit in daily calorie consumption. It’s 27 days; I can do this. And I anticipate it will be like a kick-start program with a lot of meal replacements with protein shakes, and that’s fine because I tend to be protein deficient left to my own devices. But it is not intended that I or anyone else eat this way forever. So we shall see.
Not certain what I expect will happen, except perhaps dropping a few pounds. I am hoping for a psychological boost, that the change will exhilarate and energize me into doing better, doing more with my eating potential, even within the relatively narrow parameters of my picky eater range of foods.
Whatever the outcome, I anticipate learning something new about my level of discipline and commitment. My stick-to-it-ness with the exercise surprised me for a very long time, so perhaps this fat loss program will take me someplace new in adventure eating. But since I am not very good about getting focused on food, this will be a good experiment. Once committed to something formalized like this, my hyper-responsible self will not let me just bail because it gets too hard, boring, or seemingly pointless. My judgment becomes a lot more flawed when I am uncomfortable with the road I am traveling.
I loved today. It was a good, busy, hectic, crazy day, but so much fun at the gym mad for light work with the rest of my work-related insanity.
Plus, I’m excited about tomorrow. It’s lower body List day, and starting in March, I will be doubling back to the huffy-puffy Lists we did in January. There is a lot of simple, little things I find spark joy. Adventure awaits!