No, this isn’t a post about the giant exhibition that’s currently in town. I was seriously intrigued by Bodies when I saw the posters all over everything, and after reading about how incredible it was, I really wanted to check it out – and then I read somewhere that the bodies were actually Chinese torture victims, my moral compass started spinning wildly, and my brain reigned out over my wallet faster than I could make it to the closest Ticketmaster outlet. So no, this is not a post about Bodies. It’s about mine, and all the different stuff that seems to be going on with it lately.
Firstly – let’s talk fitness. I’ve never been a Gym Girl – I think my longest relationship with a gym was when I first started my current job, which happens to be about 5 blocks away from one. I signed up, and probably went a grand total of three times before cancelling the membership (5 months later). The girls there were more made up than I am on New Year’s Eve, everyone seemed to be an expert on every piece of machinery, and, not one to wear my glasses in public at the best of times, I felt like a prize n00b hovering in and squinting over people’s shoulders trying to read the instructions. But on my birthday, I added a whole bunch of “get fit” resolutions to my list, and I must say I think I’m doing okay! In the last few weeks, in full last-minute-wedding-crunch attempts to fit into my (very tightly fitted) dress, I’ve been on the treadmill pretty much every other day. It’s been a great way to spend the evening post-work and pre-dinner – Sweet gets home at about 7:30, which leaves me a couple of hours to get very sweaty, very ugly, and very exhausted, all the while watching shameless guilty-indulgence wedding porn. (Current addiction: Don’t Tell The Bride) Now, in my running endeavours, I have noticed a few things:
1. I don’t think I’ll ever be A Runner. In much the same way in which I get frightfully bored within the first two minutes of sitting in a bubble bath, I get equally as bored stuck on a treadmill. I think I’ve figured out that the more often you glance at the display, the slower time seems to go, but I still can’t keep my eyes off it. I know it’s only been thirty seconds since I last looked, and I’ve probably burned less than half a calorie, but for some reason I keep checking. Which makes it even more long and even more boring.
2. My motivation may have increased tremendously in recent weeks, but it doesn’t mean the same turnaround has affected my endurance. I have the same pattern now as I did six weeks ago: power walk half a lap, run half a lap, power walk half a lap, run half a lap, jump off the belt for a few seconds to gulp down some water, power walk some more, and then sprint really hard to try and shave a few more seconds off the last time it took me to run a mile. ONE MILE. I think I did 1.25 once, and my knees hurt for days afterwards, and I promptly went back to my senior citizen ways and continued running my single mile. I want to be able to at least do two, or at least RUN the whole mile instead of taking breaks to power walk, but my endurance hasn’t improved at all. I still get exhausted within minutes and the thought of doing it all over again once I hit 4 laps just smacks my hopes and dreams in the face, off the treadmill and onto the floor where I proceed to collapse for a couple of minutes, and then do a few crunches.
3. I’ve decided to sod the back pain, suck it up and just DO abdominal exercises lately. It’s an absolute killer, but I refuse to let it be the reason I gain weight around my middle. Because I’m so small-framed naturally, any weight goes directly to my stomach area and looks horribly bulgey, so I really need to get on this. I’ve been doing 30-40 side crunch things (can you tell I’m not an exercise person?) where you twist into your leg when you sit up after each mile ran. And this is pretty much my exercise routine.
Now, I’m proud I’ve been able to actually stick to this, however beginner, for the first time in my life. But I’ve also noticed absolutely zero change in terms of weight. I fluctuate between 102 and 106 pounds on a daily basis and this has not been affected in the slightest by my exercising. I think maybe that means this is the weight I’m supposed to be at – going any lower would be unhealthy. But I have twelve days (!!) in which I need to stay this exact size to fit into my wedding dress. I’m thrilled it’s finally finished, and hanging from the rafters – but it is very tight on. So much so I couldn’t bend down to put my shoes on at the fitting. I’m still wondering how I’m going to sit for dinner.
Now, I just realised I’d said “First, let’s talk fitness”. I also realise I’ve just taken up a good chunk of your time talking about what a running n00b I am. So, very briefly, I’ve noticed several other things regarding my body lately. Secondly: my skin. It’s so bad that when Sweet asked me for “peanut oil” for a recipe last week, I asked him if he wanted me to blot a sponge all over my face and squeeze it into the pan. I am SHINY AND GROSS, and nothing seems to work at curbing it short of covering my face in clay and drying out every pore (along with the ability to create facial expressions). I can’t have a decent hairstyle, because any part of hair that falls on my face gets covered in grease which makes me look like Kevin the Teenager. I cleanse, tone and moisturise daily (because apparently NOT moisturising results in even MORE oil being produced), but I’d love to hear from anyone else having this problem well into their twenties what actually works!
Thirdly, I should probably mention my back. Yes, it still hurts. Yes, I still plan on getting a 30-hour cover up tattoo on it. And yes, I am now the proud owner of my very own TENS machine, which has resulted in me being hooked up to a series of electrodes having my muscles zapped into spasm while watching EastEnders after tea. I’d had something similar when I
had coverage for was seeing a physiotherapist last year, and I hated every second of it, being left sitting under a chunk of hot clay while my muscles jerked around involuntarily all down my back, but apparently it was therapeutic. And, as much of a wuss as I am, I’m going to keep trying this one. Even if I can only manage it once every other week.
So, in summary, my body seems to be somewhat of a hodge-podge of progress and defiancy these days. But I’m working on it. Any tips on any of the above would be hugely appreciated! 🙂