Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Fool for a Client

It's been too many days but I have had a couple of workouts with the trainer. It is amazing the difference the workouts are with a trainer than alone- we have a plan, the exercises are explained and I find myself pushing harder with him then I would on my own. The encouragement, advice and feeling of empowerment are amazing!

It's been a bit of a slow start- my last workout was Monday and I won't see Maurice until Friday (that's the plan I arranged). Throughout the week however, we set goals and workouts for the days in between. I missed going yesterday, it was not a nice day and I found myself dragging to move anywhere- we've been fighting with car trouble all weekend and it was finally resolved yesterday evening (don't ask, ugh)!

Monday was arms with some core- my right shoulder is still unhappy with me but it's the good kind of ache. The ache which means muscles were used that have not been used before (and knowing the difference). I pushed, sweat and grunted and it was good. It's somewhat embarrassing to see how little the weight is but Maurice constantly tells me we will build, we will strengthen and I'm doing a great job.

My husband is doing cross-fit and we talk about our workouts. He is heaving 100+ pounds while I lifted a paltry10lbs. That could be depressing- I have allowed myself to become so badly out of shape. However, I understand why a trainer or someone working with you is beneficial. It is all about the encouragement, the "you're doing your best, you're on the right track" and someone having your back is amazing.

I used to think trainers were only for rich people but now I understand- the encouragment, the knowledge and the help are key. There's a saying that a man who represents himself has fool for a client. We wouldn't think to sell a house, go to court, or do our own surgery yet we think we can go it alone at the gym. Now I think I get it- I was the fool client.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Finding What Works

It should come as no surprise that my brilliant plan of exercising did not work- however, all hope is not lost. I tried the "I'll do it myself" at home approach and just didn't stick to it, then had guilt about that and well, you know the rest.

I took the plunge and got a GASP gym membership. A few years back, I had a treadmill and had decent results so I thought that's the way to go. As part of my membership, there is a health consultation included. We all know this is standard but I thought, "Hey, what the heck! I might learn something." Learn something I did! After all these years of back, knee and foot pain I chalked up to being overweight, lazy and all those various, harmful words we say to ourselves to account for failing, I found answers. This is only day one but the answers were like manna- it all made sense. After my official write-up, I'll tell you all the big words but it was eye-opening. My back slopes at the base, resulting in constant pressure on my lower spine (thus, the back pain) which  you can check standing heels, butt, back against a wall then raising your hands above your head. Put your palms against the wall. Is your back against the wall?? Mine was definitely NOT. The trainer (the Amazing Joe) could fit his entire arm through the space between the wall and my back.

Now stand at your usual, comfortable stance. My feet always want to look like a duck- what that means in the short answer is my outer leg muscles try to overcompensate, creating constant knee and foot pain. The  list is longer but to not dull you to death, it means no amount of working out alone will ever fix these things. It means no amount of push ups, cardio, whatever will ever take away my pain even if I could lose all the weight I wanted.

All hope is not lost though! Now the cool part! I know what the problem is and we're going to solve it! It's called "Antagonistic Muscles"- just like the antagonist in a story. One set of muscles is always doing all the work, all the time while the opposite, opposing ones do nothing and even can't do their work since the others won't let them. We have to make those over-compensating muscles relax, then work those weak, underused muscles. As those muscles learn to do their work, strength training occurs, creating more muscle. Muscle burns fat! SO as we strengthen and build the new ones, we are also improving our core while rebuilding my back and posture.

PHEW! That's a lot! I'm excited about working out for the first time ever!

I created a set of my goals which Joe asked me to and they are goals most people want who engage in weight lose or exercise but the best part is, I don't have to give up the food I love or make drastic changes which is why diets never work. I'm building a better me- I'm building a person who will feel good inside and out. That's what really matters- not what size we are but that we are happy and as healthy as we can be.

So- this is my journey using a trainer and trying something new. This is a really new experiance- let's see what happens!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Time to Quit Whining!

I've whined about how fat I am, how I don't like the way I look, blah blah blah. I've done a few BodyRock workouts but not stuck to it for various whiney reasons but now, they've started another 30 day challenge. It's time to poop or get off the pot, quit my belly aching and get on with it!

I did the Day 2 challenge AND mowed the lawn so I think I'm good for today. (I didn't complete the whole challenge but got about 30 min. of it). I'm using weights Hubby has, doing what I can do and pushing. This is something I can do and doesn't take long. That's the brillance of bodyrock- it's user friendly even for out of shape hippo butts like me!

I know I should be able to be happy with myself for who I am but I admit, I'm not. I hate seeing pictures of myself- hate seeing my chin look like a frog puffing out. BRRIBBET BRIBBET. I want to buy cute clothes from the mall, and not squish my own fat when I sit down. I know many people would disagree with me- I'm smart, funny, etc. but I am not happy in my own body for my own reasons. Some of those reasons are vain or foolish I admit, but they are mine.

 I've made excuses- too hot outside, my feet hurt, can't afford a gym, blah blah, whine whine but here is the perfect, at home, adaptable workout. Now what's my excuse. To me, the excuses to not do something are worse than the fat. I've allowed the excuses to stand in my way too long and I've run out of them. The excuses are heavier than the fat.

NO MORE EXCUSES! Tomorrow- scary measurements and accountablility. EEP!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome to My World- Learning about Deaf Culture

The past year, to fulfill my foreign language requirement at Texas A&M San Antonio, I have been taking American Sign Language. As I have moved forward, I have come to love the language and the culture. I have learned Deaf people have their own individual and unique culture. I have come to love what I have learned that I decided, on top of my English degree, to add Deaf Support specialist training.

Part of the process for each ASL class is to attend a number of Deaf events and with each consecutive class, the requirement becomes more difficult. In ASL I, one could attend an event and but not be too concerned with the amount of interaction (after all, you won't know much sign but only that you try). Now being in ASL III, the level of interaction and signing has increased accordingly. In an attempt to complete one event and increase my signing abilities, I got my courage up and attended Game night on campus- a once a month event hosted by the ASL department's student club. I enjoyed myself but also once again realized how much harder I need to practice. My sign reading ability is pathetic and trying to read finger spelling just is not there.

While it is never fun to be faced with one's short comings, the event was not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. Everyone present was there for similar reasons- we want to learn more about this language and culture most of us hearing people are not familiar with. Many of us have come to love what we have found and are there for the enjoyment and chance to practice/ improve our signing. Professor Cage, a Deaf professor, spoke briefly. He asked if we felt a bit uneasy, found communicating by strictly signing, and not speaking aloud was a bit intimidating. It was. He laughed and said, "welcome to my world. Now you have a better understanding of how I feel in a meeting of all hearing people. You have a better understanding of how Deaf people feel all the time in the hearing world." The wonderful thing about all I have learned about the Deaf community is they do not want to exclude those of us who are desirous to learn, they embrace us and are more than happy to help us with our signs.

The bigger, more difficult lesson I am learning though is while the Deaf welcome us into their world, we do not do the same. Hearing people judge the Deaf as "handicap," inferior, less than human many times and less intelligent. This is absolutely not true. I think the lesson is to be more accepting, to understand what is outside our comfort zone, be less judgemental. Instead, I think there needs to be increased, sincere curiousity and a willingness to learn what we do not understand. I was uncomfortable, I admit it. I was not uncomfortable with Deaf people but at my own shortcomings. I wonder how many times someone has struck out, with the intention to knock someone down for a similar reason. Not because the person deserved it but because there was an unwillingness to understand why and what the difference was.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Time to Yell "Yipee"!!

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to Mustang Island with a couple of friends. When I was asked, the unadventerous part of me thought, "why do I want to drive over two hours to the beach? I have a perfectly decent pool in my backyard"

Now I think I understand a few things about myself. A couple of years ago, my family went to Cozumel on a cruise. I did not enjoy myself much but they all did. The reason- they let themselves while I held onto ridiculous hangups. I did not get into the water- the beautiful, crystal blue, clear water because I felt too fat. I never got into the ship's pools or sunbathed because I was too fat. I went and ate and felt fatter... I allowed ridiculous hangups about my self image to ruin two cruises and who knows what damage I have done to my family because society says I can't be seen in public since I'm overweight. I allow myself to believe this.

My friends are wonderful women with similar body types as mine. They dropped their towels and plunged into the waves. One shouted a huge, unrestrained YIPPEE!! and we were off. Guess what! No fat police came and told us, "hey, you're too fat for this beach!" No one even noticed us. We splashed, we played and I learned how to boogie board. I learned to make the board leap off the backside of the waves so you could "fly" and I learned something else. I learned to let go and fly.

I felt the difference between those waves and my pool. The difference is everything. I learned to let go and embrace the wild, crashing freedom. The pool is tame and controlled. I control the pool- who swims in , who sees me in it and whether or not I get splashed or not. The pool is a controlled environment and this is the difference. The waves on the beach cannot be controlled. They crash and roll, unrestrained. I learned to feel that wild sense of YIPPEE and yelled WHEEE as we crashed over the waves. The water did not care what I looked like. The sand did not care if my thighs rubbed together and neither did anyone else on that beach. I got salt water in my mouth, sand in my suit, a sunburn and, best of all, I let it all go. I yelled YIPPEE!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unhealthy Healthcare

Summer is finally coming to an end and school started for the boys (I start next week). In order to start school though, Bubba's school nurse called a few weeks ago to inform us he was missing a couple of shots. No big deal right? We have insurance, loads of places offer quick and affordable drop in clinics so no problem...

How wrong I was.

Our first stop was Walgreens where we were informed that our insurance didn't cover the two shots and they would be nearly $200!! Are you kidding me!? Hubby suggests a local clinic we could pop into, no problem. The receptionist was helpful and told us that upcoming weekend, vaccines would be given for free- YAY! Good news! I like free!!

Saturday comes and we head off to get the shots (Oh, and after double checking shot records, I discovered Bubba only needed one of the two but more on that). We arrive to find this GIANT tent with hundreds of people in line, some sitting, some standing. I assume the standing line we were directed to was for shots, the other for free dental exams which we don't need. I was WRONG! The entire mass of people are there for both, it's all one HUGE line.

To make a long story shorter, we waited over six, yes SIX hours to be seen. Bubba counted the times we moved, equaling eleven different stops or lines within lines. We went from the tent into the YMCA, into the gym for two more areas to sit in, and finally into the clinic for three more stops. (That's not all eleven, trust me, you don't want to know all the details). When we finally get to see the doctor, he says, "Okay, so you need just the one shot correct?" Yup- but he says something different... Huuuh? Turns out Bubba was missing the second half of his Hepititis shot but that is not either of the ones the nurse mentioned. It all worked out okay in the end since he did need a shot after all but... ACK!!

The thing that stuck me over and over were all the other people waiting in line- literally hundreds and they will be doing the same thing a week later. All those people, all either under or uninsured and yet our government has been fighting for years over healthcare. I think if they had to spend even a day going through one of these lines, things would change. I saw people who were most likely lower income but I also people like myself who were most likely under-insured. I was not looking for a hand out, we are insured and pay a dang lot of money for that insurance. However, this is is not the first time our insurance has failed us. Why do we have something that does not work? Because its the only option we have? If any other company or service worked the way healthcare does, that place would not be in business long but here we are, fighting to get something as basic as immunizations, which cost hundreds of dollars and are not covered. I ask someone to explain that logic to me. Stand in line at a free clinic in the Texas heat and tell me we don't need a better plan.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blub Blub, I'm an Idiot!

Today I learned a very valuable lesson- I'm an idiot.

Soooo we had a leaky water spout in the backyard and that isn't a difficult fix. Well, it shouldn't be a difficult fix unless you're a moron like me. I bought a new one- nope, I needed a female connection (silly me, didn't think to check that). No problem, exchanged them.

Now the fun begins... The Boy and I think we can easily change the old one out without turning off the water main. (Oh be quiet, like you've never been silly. Quit laughing)! We begin to remove the old spout and UNLEASH NIAGARA FALLS with a huge WHOOSH of flooding, cascading water we can't stop. I begin running around the house, pulling things away from the garage walls and running around the yard searching for the main water... nothing. The Boy is smarter and makes a call to the water department. (Oh, and just so you know, there is no "if you are a bleedin' moron, push 1" option by the way). They say "Um, we dunno. Outside..." when he finally gets a person on the line and asks if they know where the turn off is. In the mean time, I'm in the backyard with the new spout. I'm thinking, "Okay, so I'll get wet but maybe I can just get this thing on and be alright. What's a bit of getting wet?" along with "OH MY GOSH, the water bill!!!!!"

The blasted thing will not connect. Nope nope nope! I'm soaked and by soaked, I mean wetter than if you threw me in the pool eight times over. I'm wringing, sopping wet. The ocean is drier than I am. There is water spewing into my yard and when I attempt to get the spout on, water is SHOOTING up the house, onto the BBQ grill and anywhere else water wants to go. I'm sure I watered the neighbor's lawns ON BOTH SIDES and the next town over. I decide there is no hope for the new one and decide to try the old one but realize I had thrown it in a fit of panic. Now is a new panic- where did it go? It ran away! After locating the old spout, I attempt at refitting it and VIOLA, it starts to go on!! I'm brilliant!! The thing turns, the water dissipates, more turning and TA DA, no more water!!! Because The Boy managed to find and turn off the water main... He comes around the corner where I'm standing and dripping, completely water logged. He looks at me, huge grin on his face and says "Well that was cool!"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Well Crap!

Weeeellll, I'm not surprised but so much for my whole "I'm going to write everyday" idea. In an attempt to get back on track, I'm writing but with nothing to say. That's my biggest issue- I have grand ideas but nothing to back them. I want to accomplish so many things but when the time comes, I find myself doing something else. Usually that something else is of little consequence like doing laundry, cleaning the pool (don't get my started about the pool) or whatever- those things which do need doing but end up becoming the only things I get done and not those big plans I had for myself. I keep trying to think of something of consequence to write but nothing comes. Do you ever fear your dreams have all dried up and gone away but you didn't get the memo? I think though, instead of moaning and whining though, getting back on the stick would be better. You don't get better at something by just hoping you will- you only get better with loads of effort. I tend to "forget" that part and want the NOW NOW NOW! Time to go with the old saying that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Time to get sweaty!!

Monday, August 05, 2013


At long last, I put my money where my mouth was so to speak. I keep thinking there has to be a way to combine what I love with ways to make money while still doing the full time mom/student thing. Why I never thought of Freelance Writing is beyond me... I'm smart but not always. I took a little jump and submitted a short story in hopes of beginning the long road of being published! It's a small start but it's a start none the less. One has to start somewhere and what's the worst that could happen? They would say a polite no, I will sulk a bit and send the story on to somewhere else to try. At best, I make some money and start earning street cred!! One of the other ways I found to try being a free lance writer is blogging and hey, I have a sadly neglected blog! Soooo my wee little blog, let's see what we can do together! I think the next step is to start finding more things to write about and broaden my world. I could like this idea! Now what to write about?? Hmmm...

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Time Marches on

It's been over a year since my last post. Much has changed and yet, much remains the same. I think that's how life is though. For every step forward, you also go back. I think it's where we've been that decides where we go. I am back at San Antonio college with only three courses to complete my Bachelor's with A&M. So the degree is almost complete but only three measly courses at the beginning level stand in my way. One more semester- but isn't that the way? Only one more something, one thing more. What will be next for me to say? Only one more thing, one more thing and then I'll have what I want. What do I want? I'm not sure. I think I know, I thought I knew but it changes. I'm supposed to be an adult but what does that mean? Because my driver's license says I'm a certain age, I'm supposed to also have certain knowledge and know. I'm supposed to know but what am I supposed to know and who decided on this list of approved knowledge. Was there a test and I didn't get the memo? Does that mean I'm not really an approved, certified adult?