Posts Tagged With: Gym

Creeping Forward

This week’s great NSV: I noticed how my arms have already started looking and feeling better. After only two weeks of a somewhat disciplined gym routine and increasing the intensity. Bingo wings are still a thing with me and I’m not sure if they’ll ever leave me but even that part feels a little bit firmer already.

The not so great news is that on Wednesday, I started noticing an unusual pain in my abdomen. At first I thought it was sore from the workout because I upped the insensity and because I started walking on the treadmill. But it never really seems to leave and even though I’ve been to the gym again on Friday, I think my body should be used to it enough for the pain not to be that bad. Especially because only that part hurts, not my arms, nor my legs. So by now I fear it might be either a problem with my stomach or my cyst acting up again. Especially because the pain gets worse when I eat and right now, I can’t even eat much without feeling like my stomach is bursting.

And I figured that this whole being healthier thing doesn’t just stop at weight loss and fitness. I should probably do the responsible thing and make an appointment with my doctor. Hopefully it’s nothing that requires surgery. I could imagine more fun things to do with my summer.

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I’ve recently joined another fitness challenge on MFP. For some reason, this is working so much better and keeps me going so much more than anything I’ve tried before. It is a Harry Potter-related challenge run by a member who really put a lot of thought into it. The basic idea is that the participants get divided into the four houses of Hogwarts (I’m in Ravenclaw, hooray!) and earn house points for losing weight or completing exercise, food or trivia challenges. It’s in its third week now and it’s so much fun. I’ve lost a kilo through it and have pushed myself to do more and try new things at the gym.

Of course, it helps that since my vacation, I’ve had so much more energy. Normally I go through huge ups and downs. It’s like going up and down the Alps. Either I’m throbbing with energy or I can’t get out of bed. It’s as much of a physical thing as it is emotional. So far, I haven’t been people to blame it on anything specifically – hormones, thyroid, Hashimoto’s, mental instabilities, I have no idea. It doesn’t seem to come and go regularly enough to be blamed on anything. That also means I can never really see it coming and just need to make use of any amount of energy as much as I can. But now, for about two weeks, I’ve been feeling great. It’s not just about having the energy to work out. It’s also the positivity I am feeling. Normally I have a bit of a pessimistic view at life. But at the moment, I can’t help but feel better about everything, like somehow I know it is all gonna be fine eventually. I got into a bit of an argument with my boss yesterday and yes, it made me really angry and consider my options of switching jobs soon. But usually things like that would have depressed me greatly and drained all my energy. This time I bitched and moaned for a few hours, then went to the gym and sweated it out. This morning I went to work feeling perfectly fine again. It’s nice and weird at the same time. I’m going to the gym again tomorrow and I’m a little scared. Yesterday, I walked my first two miles at a pretty crisp pace (for me) on the treadmill and today, my whole body is so sore. I’ve also been using more weights for the strength workout and my shoulder hurts like whoa. I just hope it’s the good kind of pain. Would be so me to mess myself up so early on.

Of course, I’ve also made some nice plans to look forward to. Over my four weeks of vacation, I didn’t manage to go away but booked two mini vacations for later this year. In September, my mom and I were planning to go to Mallorca again. But we could only get one week off together and in that one week, prices for flights and hotel rates were ridiculous. So we thought back and forth for a while, considered other destinations for a week in the sun – and then ended up booking a trip to Vienna instead. We’re flying down on September 6th and I can’t wait. I’ve been to Vienna twice and never really got to see much even though it was absolutely stunning. My mom used to go there a few times as a kid and has basically been fangirling about it to me forever. We said we’d go there together for years and years and now it is finally happening and I’ll finally get to see Schloss Schönbrunn and the Tiergarten.

Then in October I’ll be visiting the book fair in Frankfurt with a friend. It was a really spontaneous decision. We were talking randomly and somehow got to talk about the fair. Fast forward to an hour later and we had booked a hotel room and made plans for a whole weekend in Frankfurt, including some shopping and nice dinners to catch up. Not only am I excited about the fair but also about seeing her again. She’s been one of my besties for years but we haven’t seen each other in over a year because we live so far apart.

Those aren’t exactly big holidays but I couldn’t be more excited right now. And of course, I have something big and expensive lined up for next year. But after I’ve been announcing that I want to go to California “next year” for the past three or four years, I feel it’s bad luck to be spilling the beans too early.

Categories: Bookworm, Me Myself and I, Wanderlust, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Haters Gonna Hate

One thing that really bothers me about weight loss and fitness related communities like MyFitnessPal is that no matter how hard people are struggling with their own journey, no matter how well they know how much it can hurt when others judge you, they always do it to others, as well. One of the most popular subjects for people to discuss are other people at their gym.

I believe the top most criticized type of gym goers are girls with full make-up. Why? I don’t get it. I mean, I don’t understand the necessity of a full eye make-up when you’re probably gonna sweat it all off, either. Personally, I’d find it too much hassle to do it before going to the gym. On the other hand, when I go there after work or something else that I had made myself up for, I don’t go through the process of removing it beforehand, either. But that is not the point. The point is that those girls’ make-up – or their appearance in general – does not have any influence on who I am or what I’m doing there. It doesn’t keep me from working out, it doesn’t offend me, it does nothing to me at all. And for all I know, there might even be a serious (mental) health reason behind that one girl’s need to wear make-up. Why would I go out of my way to judge her, even if it is on some forum on the Internet where she may never even read it? There are people who will read it, and maybe even some who are dealing with the same issues as she does, so why would I risk to offend them when they did nothing to prevent me from having a nice gym experience?

The same goes for smelly people. Yes, there are some people who underestimate the importance of personal hygiene. But can we just agree that the majority of people who smell have some medical condition rather than a difficult relationship with their shower which prevents them from using it regularly? Plus, it’s a gym. People go there to exercise which causes them to sweat. And while I know that fresh sweat doesn’t smell like a bucket of dead fish, it certainly isn’t nice, either. Especially after people have been bathed in their own sweat for about one or two hours, however long they need to get their workout done. And, to repeat my previous point, some may have some kind of illness that causes them to reek sooner than others. Still, no reason to judge them. If it really is that bad for you, it probably means you’re invaded their comfort zone, rather than the other way round. You’re too close, buddy, go and use a machine that’s further away. Problem solved! Again, absolutely nothing that people need to bitch about just because they can hide behind a screen name rather than show their face.

And it’s the same with any exercise attire people choose to wear, most noises they make, how long it takes them to go through their routine or what gadgets they bring to track their heart rate, weight, calorie burn or dirty butt sex dreams while they work out.

I just don’t get it. When I go to the gym, there are plenty of people I could really get worked up over because they absolutely influence my gym experience and slow me down. Like those girls who spend twenty minutes sitting on their respective machines and just chat without getting a single round of exercises done. Or that guy I saw on Tuesday who used one of the machines to place his towel while he used another one, therefore preventing some others from using it because they thought it was occupied by someone else. Those are seriously annoying gym goers that one would be allowed to shake their head at. Plus, you’d be judging their behaviour rather than the personal choices they’ve made or something they can’t change.

Ugh, I just hate judgemental people!

Categories: Me Myself and I, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Breathe Easy

Just when I think I have things under control, something happens out of the blue.

This time, the ‘something’ came in the form of a call from my mother. She called me at work on Wednesday to tell me she’s waiting to be taken to the hospital. Once I had opened and closed my mouth like a fish a few times, I managed to ask what was going on and she said “Well, my doctor thinks I may be about to get a stroke!” Like…what??!!

So after a moment of panicking and crying and nearly hyperventilating in the restrooms, I rushed to the emergency room to be with her, only to find no one there had any idea who she was or what was going on. After waiting for about an hour, finally a nurse came out and told me that my mom had already been put under quarantine because they thought she had some virus, possibly MRSA. So she went from a near-stroke to a virus infection? Uhm…?

I spent the best part of Wednesday at the hospital, even though they kept wheeling her from one room to the next and, finally, put her in a private bedroom and drugged her up to the point that all she did was sleep. Since she couldn’t tell me what was going on, and the nurses were only allowed to say so much, and no doctor was in sight, I thought I was about to go crazy. They did, however, assure me that she wasn’t in any immediate danger so I went home eventually.

They keep telling me not to worry but I can see that my mom isn’t doing too well. It’s just really hard not to worry when you still see your mother is in pain and they don’t actually have any positive test results for show. Plus, she’s still under quarantine. So it is a little hard to just relax and even though I’ve tried not to sit around and think too much, I’ve been on edge since Wednesday. The worst thing is that my mother is like a wild animal in the way that she tries everything not to let it seem like she’s suffering. You can see she isn’t well but she won’t really tell you about it. So I’m paranoid.

But then, about an hour ago, I received a text from her saying she thinks it’s going uphill because she’s been feeling so great since this afternoon. I really hope it’s a good sign. And I also hope that they’ll finally figure out why her health is going up and down all the time. It’s always some form of nausea and other stomach problems, so there must be a trigger for that. But for now, I’m just relieved.

Because of this mess, I haven’t made it to the gym since Tuesday. I meant to go today but then had to visit my mom, run errands and do laundry for her and myself, so I really just couldn’t make the time. But I’ll go tomorrow. I have no plans except to visit her again, so I suppose squeezing in the two hours for the gym won’t be too hard.

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The Sad Reality of My Gym Times

This is so me! Especially the “How do I use…?” Google search. No, wait, I’ve never googled how to use a machine. Worse, I’ve googled how to open and close the lockers using my member card at the old gym. When I don’t know how to use a machine, I either avoid it at all cost or almost dismantle the thing in the process of figuring it out. Of course, I could ask someone, but…no!

And yes to the hella fit model types always – always! – using the machine right next to me. I’ve seen other chubbies pass me there but I have no idea where they come from or where they go. There must be a secret room for us that I haven’t been invited to. Because I always end up surrounded by the people who should be working there because they’re so fit and experienced.

Categories: Me Myself and I, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New Again

I don’t think I need to say that I was feeling pretty low last night.

When I woke up this morning, after the first few blissful moments of ignorance, of having forgotten about the night before, when the world is just fine, it all came back and I started to feel the pain again. But this morning, somehow, I managed to turn it into a burning rage. I was feeling so much anger inside me, I could have strangled innocent people just for the sake of it.

And, perhaps ironically, for the first time ever I decided to turn this anger into something useful. I went to the gym. And boy, did I work the shit out of myself. I’ve never sweated so much. In fact, the weird thing about me is that I’m a fatty, five minutes on any machine are so much harder for me than your average person, and yet I don’t sweat. Even after thirty minutes, I only ever get to a light sheen of sweat, even though my pulse is at a pretty high point. Today, I just didn’t even check my pulse or care if I dropped dead, I just went for it. This time I also heaved my fat butt up onto one of the stationary bikes. Usually I use the ones where you lie back because I am so afraid of people watching me climb the other ones. Today I didn’t give a damn. For some reason, I thought the seat would be a problem for my big butt but it was alright. I’d even go as far to say I’d liked it better than the other bikes.

And then, because I’ve done so well (and because I deserve it, dammit!), I treated myself to these. I’m not usually patient enough to do a lot of nail art but decals are fun. They’re just hard to come by here, unless you want always the same crap like hearts or flowers. So when I came across these, I squealed. Admittedly, the inverted cross is a bit pointless because it is a cross, duh! You can turn it any way you want, even wear it upright, but I liked that the person made the point in the auction because you get a ton of stuff with regular crosses everywhere but not enough inverted crosses that are not part of some hideous gothic clothing. I also really love the shade of nail polish they used.

Categories: Me Myself and I, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to Business

I went back to the gym yesterday. This time the long break didn’t happen because I was too lazy or kept making excuses but because by mid-January, I started to feel ashamed. I was so afraid of running right into my trainer, or anyone else who remembered my face. I kept saying I’d go tomorrow, this week, next weekend… And it never happened because I always chickened out, even though I was itching to go. For a while I considered giving up on the gym and using some online service or app. But I know that won’t surface for me because I enjoy using the machines at the gym a lot more and it feels more like doing something. To me, anyway.

So on Monday, I finally decided to get my butt into gear again, suck it up and get over it. So before I went to bed, I packed my gym bag so I wouldn’t have an excuse in the morning. Getting and staying motivated throughout the work day was the worst because things just suck at the office and every afternoon, I just want to go home. But I kept telling myself that nope, this time I wouldn’t chicken out.

In true Kathy fashion, of course I ran into my trainer the first thing when I arrived because he was working at the check-in. Of course. He gave me this weird look like “Do I know her?” and then kept looking at me like that each time I passed the counter. I was starting to feel relieved like maybe he really didn’t recognise me or hadn’t realised that I hadn’t come back for ages. But just when I felt safe and I was done and went back to check out, he definitely recognised me and was all like “So…how was it?”, throwing me off guard. And I just mumbled something along the lines of “Really, really exhausting.” So he smirks and goes, “Well, it’s hard to get back into it, so you better stick with it this time!” Ugh! Awkward! 

But at least that’s done and over with. And the workout was really, really good. Of the “Damn, my lungs hurt, but I’ll just keep going!”-variety. The circle training went amazingly well, even though the muscles in my arms were screaming by the end of it.

And one of my closest friends also joined a gym again. We live 800km apart, so it’s not like we can actually, physically go together but we have ‘mental gym dates’ and tell each other about it which helps a little bit. 

Vegan Banana Ice Cream in the Making

Vegan Banana Ice Cream in the Making

I’m also trying to watch what I eat a little bit more again. Not just counting calories but try to eat better and healthier. A co-worker let me borrow a vegan cook book with healthy recipes the other day and some of them sound really good. I tried the first recipe today, vegan sundae ice cream to feed my munchies. The original recipe is from Vegan for Youth by Attila Hildmann, in which he pretty much just mashes frozen bananas. But that proved to be really difficult for me and my cheap blender, so I added about 50ml of almond milk. And since I wanted some other taste than plain banana, I also added two teaspoons of peanut butter (for two bananas). When I was done blending and mixing, it was a little too soft and warm for my taste, so I put it back in the freezer and we’ll see how it turns out then. I know it doesn’t look too tempting in the picture but the taste was really nice. But I have to say, using a hand blender, it was really, really hard work to get the bananas all mashed and creamy. I think I almost screwed up the device, too. It’s a really cheap one, so I wouldn’t be surprised and it’s probably easier using high quality appliances but damn, those bananas were tough! 

Categories: Foody, Me Myself and I, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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