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Monday, March 24, 2008

1 and 2 and work and sweat and..

I joined a gym.

I'll give you a moment to regain your composure. Ok that's totally a cover, I'm giving myself a moment to regain my breath.

A while back I wrote a post about how I was going to venture out of my shell and join the world of the socially adept. What does that have to do with joining a gym you ask? Nothing and everything.

I also posted a while back about how I used to be a thick sexy chica and now I'm a ... uh.. thicker, not so sexy cow. No offense Bessie.

I gotta be me too. Only, since my thyroid crapped out a few years ago (I have hypothyroidism) and I've gained a bit of extra chunk I'm not so comfortable with the me I currently am. Which makes socializing a bit more difficult than usual. Although that isn't saying much for me since I'm pretty socially inept to begin with. So this is where the gym comes in.

When I lived in Michigan I had a membership at Bally's - home of the bodacious and boobalicious. Other than being the only person I ever saw there over a size 2, I enjoyed going. It was close to work so I could go after I got off. It was also in the mall. Talk about motivation. There's nothing like sticking a rack of sexy little halter dresses in front of you that may fit on your big toe to get you going! Working out at Bally's is actually what led me to discovering that I had hypothyroidism. My membership came with 8 personal training sessions and I jumped right in using them. The trainer was young, sweet, cute, buff and completely beat my ass once a week! After about the 6th week of working out 5 days a week, 1.5 to 2 hours a day and not losing 1 single pound I began to think something must be wrong. I was eating healthy according to the diet plan they give you, the trainer was working my butt so hard I was doing good to stay conscious at the end of our sessions and I had become a cardio freak! Yet Not One Single Pound.

So I went to the doc and they did some blood work and sure enough my T something or anothers were low. T3, T4. The crazy thing is, I'd been going to therapy for a couple of months prior because I was feeling constantly fatigued and down. I was a trip to the pharmacy away from taking anti-depressants. I can't tell you how thankful I am a friend suggested I get my thyroid checked out when she did. After I was diagnosed I did some research and found out that thyroid malfunction can cause all of the symptoms I'd been having.

These are just a few of the symptoms caused by hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, rough pale skin
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance (can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
  • Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido

I had about half of them. Thankfully not the icky ones. No decreased libido for me. No siree! But once I started taking medication to correct the thyroid insufficiency I was alert, happy and refreshed in about a week! So I've spent the past 3 years trying to get my T levels straightened out and have had a hellofa time loosing weight.

Back to the gym:

I started walking a couple of weeks ago around my neighborhood. I live in a really pretty area and the walk is enjoyable. I walked about a mile and a half 6 days a week in the evening when I got home from work. The weather was beautiful and I looked forward to being outside. Then it started getting chilly again and I uhh.. sort of stopped.

I've always wanted to be one of those people who was all gung-ho fitness that got up with the roosters and worked out every morning before work. I've just always been too tired to get up any earlier than normal to do it. Ok that's the excuse I've used for umpteen years. I can't get up any earlier, I don't get enough sleep as it is, I'm just sooooo tired in the morning. I'm not saying it's not true, it is. But it's also BS. A very convenient excuse to keep my butt in bed 30 more minutes snoozing the alarm. Well since moving to Mobile the early morning work out people have been sort of thrust in my face. Every morning on the way to work I see the same people out jogging. EVERY MORNING. 7:30am. Hot, cold, rain or shine. Dedicated jogging people. There are a whole different set of jogging people in the evenings on my way home. I don't care what anyone says, Mobile is a get fit inspiring city. It's hard to watch so many people daily out jogging, enjoying themselves, being healthy and not feel like a slug for going home after work and parking my big butt on the couch.

So there's this gym here called Planet Fitness, and their motto or slogan is that they are "The Judgment Free Zone".

Translation - no neckless roid monkeys grunting and throwing weights around frightening the natives. They actually have a buzzer that sounds if you get too loud on the machines or free weights. 3 buzzes and your out! It's a cool place where people who've never been to a gym before, or those who have been but are looking for a more comfortable atmosphere, can feel OK coming and working out.

I signed up last Thursday and have been completely psyched all weekend about getting up early this morning and working out. I spent half the day Saturday pre-cooking healthy lunches to bring to work, cutting up celery and other snacks, packing a "gym bag" with shampoo, body wash, a towel, clothes to change into for work, the essentials. It looked like I was going away for a week. I'm sure as I get used to the new routine my bag(s) will become smaller and I'll no longer wheel a suitcase to the gym with me. It was a small suitcase ok!

So this morning the alarm goes off at 6am. I'd already been up a few times, the latest time at 4am. Thanks to my demon cats from the depths of hell! I hopped up, brushed my teeth, threw the hair in a pony tail, pulled on some jogging pants and a t-shirt, loaded up my luggage and headed to the gym. The gym opens at 4:20am and there were already quite a few people in there. I did the elliptical for 30 mins then a 3 min cool down, showered got dressed and made it to work 10 mins early.

I feel great!

How I'll feel tomorrow morning is another story altogether, but for now I'm really happy that I finally found the motivation to actually put a desire I've had for a very long time in action. My plan is, I'm probably jumping in a bit deep this early out but we'll see, to do cardio 30 mins every morning before work, then after work hit the gym again and do the 30 min circuit they have. I LOVE circuit training. It makes thing so much easier and less complicated than a work out "schedule". Hmm do I do legs and back to day and arms tomorrow, or do I do abs and butt today then neck and toes tomorrow? In a circuit you do everything daily in one minute increments with 60 seconds of cardio in between each machine. PF's set up has step benches in a circle in front of all of the machines so you do x number of reps on machine A, hop off, do 60 seconds of stepping then on to machine B. By the time you're done you've gotten a complete body and aerobic workout in 30 minutes.

I'm still not brave enough to post my weight, but I'll be doing follow up posts on how much I've lost and how the workout process is going. I'm determined this time. My goal is to have lost 70lbs by my birthday in November. That's just under 9lbs a month which fits in the "safe and healthy" range of 1-3lbs a week. I know it sounds like a lot in a short amount of time but heck, those people on The Biggest Loser are losing between 40 and 100+ lbs in 6-8 weeks. WEEKS people. That's 10-20lbs a week! Granted I don't have Jillian standing on my head screaming 10 more seconds!! but I'm confident that I can do this.

So wish me luck and pray that God blesses me with endurance and muscle relaxers. I have a feeling I'm going to need plenty of both!

3 People who coughed on a furball:

Ted and Lori said...

Good luck! Biggest Loser is such a motivator. I sit there eating peanuts thinking, "Uh, I should get back to working out..."
(though the whole 'Vegas, Baby, Vegas' episode annoyed the beejezus out of me)

Ted and Lori said...

So did you just cry and cry with Ali won last night?

Mollie said...

ARGHHHHHHH I haven't watched it yet!! I have it on DVR.. I'm going to pretend I didn't read that. erase. erase.. backspace backspace