Friday, April 29, 2011

has Anybody Seen My Legs?

198.2 lbs.  End of the world or me cracking 195 lbs. Which one’s coming first?
I am coming up on some big milestones and this upward bounce bullshit is keeping me from them:
194.6 lbs: 30 lbs. lost.
191.6 lbs: BMI dividing line between  obesity and just plain overweight. It’s also the dividing line between being able to buy health insurance on your own and not being able to buy health insurance on your own.
190 lbs: I can ride a mule down the Grand Canyon. (Of course, Torquemada would probably expect me to jog down and back up with the mule across my shoulders).
The stories I tell in this blog are true. The names have been changed to protect the author.
According to My Net Diary, I burned 1212 calories today.  This was due to a lot of hard work in an attempt to please Torquemada. If I had to run for my life and the salvation of humanity from mutant killer snails and/or particularly slow zombies, we’d all be screwed.
Now remember: the Pushy Peanut told me to do cardio 6 days a week and she wanted the sweat dripping from me. Running (eek). However,  I said I would comply. And eat sweet potatoes every day (Oprah’s friend, Bob Greene was on her show Wednesday with a new book, 20 Years Younger: Look Younger, Feel Younger, Be Younger! and he recommend eating sweet potatoes every day. (And Brussels sprouts. Anybody who thinks I’m going to voluntarily eat those, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you). We have confirmation. Torquemada is not just telling me to do things in order to see if I’ll do them.
As requested, I got some new sneakers that were not toners ($10 at Target. MAJOR score) and hit the gym with a purpose:
  Cardio 6 days a week, okay.
Weight training. No problem. 
Mix it up with the cardio, check. Let me at it.
Running. Yeah. Let me get back to you.
Prior to my paid torture session (Please God, don’t let someone decide that waterboarding lowers cholesterol ), I hit the elliptical machine for 20 minutes at high resistance. I did that yesterday, too. Right before yoga.  I think it made for a better session; I felt stronger. I could hold the poses that have been more difficult for me (except for Tree, the one where you’re on one foot with the other foot either on your shin or jammed into your crotch. The modification is to put the toes of the “loose” foot on the floor with its heel against your other ankle. This is called the Fosse pose. Ah five six seven eight. Jazz hands optional).  The clue that you’ve worked enough is the muscles trembling and weak. I had that in spades. Also, ironically, a feeling of being strong and at peace. I think I was walking taller. I think. I may have been delusional.
Today was weight training, focus on legs and abs. Now, in the previous sessions, it was all I could do to not crawl, whimpering, out of the gym afterwards. Since I think that’s what Torquemada wants, I’m not giving her the satisfaction, even if I die trying.
I had thought The King was a demanding trainer. He used to want me to warm up before working with him by doing 5 minutes on an elliptical or treadmill. Torquemada approves of 20-30 minutes prior to a weight training workout that will turn your legs to Jell-O. This girl could reduce a platoon of Marines to tears.
She confessed her master plan: something called “The Fifty,” where one rotates through a set of exercises doing 50 reps of each. The more extreme version is “The 300.” Since I didn’t want to find myself in a loincloth and red cape holding off a gigantic Persian army at Thermopylae, 50 was enough.
I am getting better at isolating the muscles to be worked, keeping the shoulders and neck out of exercises for the abs (Dear Great White Belly: YOU’RE GOIN’ DOWN!!!!!). And they’re getting stronger. Exercises that were difficult last week are getting easier; I can hold a lunge longer without falling over.
But wait, there’s more.
Torquemada wants cardio, she gets cardio. 20 minutes on the cross-trainer? Sissy stuff.  I hit the treadmill for an hour, at an incline and faster than I’ve ever done. Yes, I can do this. Running. Okay, how long can I last running?
3.5 minutes and according to the monitor, my heart rate was 206. I’m thinking that’s not healthy.
However, I did 50 minutes are 3.5 MPH and 10 minutes at 3 MPH. That 198.2 lbs. had better be a memory tomorrow preferably replaced by a lower number. Significantly lower). I burned, Baby, I burned. And if my legs work tomorrow, I’ll be astonished.
Things are getting smaller around the midriff and that’s 90% of the reason for all this nonsense. The Great White Belly is on its way to so-so (no, I am not aiming for washboard abs). As previously mentioned, there are now stretch marks to be dealt with (they’re at the white line stage). There are scores of creams that promise to eradicate stretch marks and they range from drugstore affordable up to closely guarded at Sephora, $130 per tube (and it’s good for wrinkles). Even if they’ve faded from the red lightning bolts to the thin white arroyos, they’re still pretty ugly. This being the Information Age, I hit the Internet. To best the enemy, one must understand it.
A stretch mark is caused by a localized breakdown in collagen. According to my research, the best way to repair the damage is from within, not just applying cream to the site. The creams take care of the symptoms, but don’t address the cause.
The recommendations I saw were to increase intake of nutrients that rebuild collagen: Omega 3 EFA (Hey! I’m on that! 2 grams of cold-pressed flaxseed oil per day! I’m so slick!), sulfur, taurine and lipoic acid are friends of collagen. Garlic! Garlic has all that stuff! I’m hitting the Gilroy Garlic Festival this year one way or another. Lycopene is an FOC (Friend of Collagen). It contains anti-oxidants that prevent damage to collagen. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. I am the love apple’s biggest fan. While I don’t need another excuse to eat tomatoes (and cooking tomatoes increases the lycopene), I’ll take it anyway. Vitamin C. However, hot chili peppers are a better source of Vitamin C than citrus fruits. So, between the garlic, tomatoes and chili peppers, you should be eating more salsa to improve your skin.
The amino acids that make up collagen are hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline.  Proline is found in egg whites in abundance (okay, not eating that. I’ll eat the ass end out of a chicken, but I won’t eat something that emerges from a chicken’s ass). Lysine, though. Being fair-skinned, I am vulnerable to cold sores. Lysine is my friend (and supposedly the means by which the dinosaurs of “Jurassic Park” were supposed to be controlled. We saw how effective that was). The aforementioned Vitamin C converts the lysine and proline into hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline. Yes, I am getting my Vitamin C along with the lysine (a vegetarian alternative to egg whites for proline is wheat germ, but since I seem to have a gluten sensitivity, not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent).
Sweat dripping off my face? No problem with one of those little beach misters they sell at Target. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. Just ask Barry Bonds.

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