Friday, August 26, 2016

Moving My Body Forward - Phase 11: The Good and the Disappointing

I took my vacation this summer at the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.  I have written about the swim many times, so I probably don't need to say how much time is spent waiting on a boat for several hours for the ponies to cross.  It's usually the same group of people who go on our boat, but we had some newcomers this year. It was an active and cheerful older couple who were kind, funny, and polite, but whom I heard whisper to each other about how sad there were so many out of shape people on the scene.  I made an offhand remark about fitness at one point and the husband said to me, "You look very strong and athletic."  That remark made my day.  These past few months are starting to show.  I don't look out of shape.

Or do I?

I am still my own worst critic.  I still hate the way I look.  When I see myself in the mirror I can't take my eyes off the spare tire that sits above my hips and is starting to succumb to gravity.  I compare it to wearing a child's inner tube around my waist and that tube is starting to lose air and droop.

I still feel so thick.  I feel wide.  I caught my reflection in a large glass window while eating lunch a couple of weeks ago.  It was hot and I wore a light sleeveless dress.  I looked so wide I even surprised myself.  No matter how fit I like to think I am, I still look overweight.

What's worse is that my body is dwarfing my head.  I don't have a small head.  My hat size is 7 1/8.  That's not a small size.  My hair makes my head even bigger.  When I look at photos of myself or see my full-length reflection, my enormous breasts and thick arms make my head look tiny.  I have a weird pinhead in proportion to the rest of my body.

I have come far, but I still have work to do.  That's the upshot of it.  Every day I have to make decisions that will affect my body's size and shape.  The key is too consistently make better decisions.  It's simple, but so difficult to follow through with.

Phase 2 of Girls Gone Strong was difficult.  There were exercises I hated, exercises I wondered if I would ever get better at.  I am beginning to wonder if I should drop back a level.  Maybe I should work on Level 2 of the program and then go back and finish Level 3.  I had to do chin-up isolations, which killed my elbow and has now made it worse when it was 90% healed.  I may not be as ready for Level 3 as I thought I was.

Then again, I'm doing all the exercises in Level 3 (although I do have to be super careful with those chin-up exercises).  I may feel like it's torture, but I complete almost every rep and doing each set.  There are some exercises where I can't quite do the full number, but that's not even every day.

I have a week to think about it.  I am leaving tonight for a 4 day vacation in Prague.  I'll be skipping the program while I'm there.  I hope to be doing plenty of walking for exercise.  I suppose if I feel like I need some muscle conditioning, I can do some bodyweight moves in my room.

Czech food will be a challenge.  It is stereotypical Eastern European cuisine filled with meat and carbs.  Czech food is famous for its dumplings and heavy sauces.  What's worse is that the cheapest beverage in the country is beer.  I don't like beer.  Unfortunately it costs less than wine (and I like Czech wine), soda, or even water (always bottled and never tap).  I will be shoving uncountable numbers of calories into my gullet at every meal.

Walk often.  Eat slowly and mindfully.  Don't feel you have to clean your plate.  Those are the rules to remember.

Speaking of rules, I switched the habit a bit this past month.  Instead of writing down every meal after it is eaten, I write meals down before.  I have been meticulously planning every meal and every snack each day and each week.  I know in advance what I will be eating all week.  I make a list and shop once a week for it.  With farm market season in full swing and summer's bounty at its best, I buy most of my groceries at the farm market and only buy the foods and household supplies I can't buy from the farmers.

That doesn't mean I haven't had my share of unplanned meals this past month.  ("Unplanned" sounds so much better than "cheat", no?)  That's why my progress has been less than stellar in the weights and measure department.

Weight: 147.2
Waist: 31.5"
Hips: 41"
Arm: 13.5"
Bust: 37.5"
Thigh: 24.5"

I lost a pound and lost a bit on my arm, bust, and thigh.  Any progress is better than none at all.

Assuming I stick with Level 3, here is what my Exercise Schedule will look like.  September is coming and dance class is returning in mid-September.  I won't be in class for all of the Phase 11, but I will be in there for three weeks of it.  The workout schedule will change slightly.

Phase 11 Exercise Schedule

Week 1
Sunday: Horseback Riding
Monday: GGS weight training
Tuesday: 40 minutes medium intensity cardio (bike, elliptical, or Zumba)
Wednesday: GGS weight training
Thursday: 40 minutes medium intensity cardio
Friday: GGS weight training
Saturday: Horseback riding

Weeks 2-4
Sunday: AM GGS weight training, PM Horseback riding
Monday: Dance class
Tuesday: GGS Strength Training
Wednesday: 40 minutes medium intensity cardio
Thursday: GGS Strength Training
Friday: 40 minutes medium intensity cardio
Saturday: Horseback riding

I will try to do some interval work after two strength sessions if I have time.

I will continue with the planned meal habit and also work on eating slowly and mindfully as habits.

Until next month!

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