Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Must Be a Masochist: I'm Paying For This

196.2 lbs. BUT, I was told a great secret today: sweet potatoes absorb water from your body. If that’s the case, I’m eating those suckers a LOT.

I had to go to Fresh & Easy today to get a truckload of sweet potatoes. Part of the adventure was running a gauntlet of local grocery union members trying to hand out leaflets to people attempting to shop in the store. There are billboards around LA proclaiming “Let’s Fix Fresh & Easy Together.” I don’t know what’s broken at Fresh & Easy but the last time we had a big grocery strike, the “picketers” were hanging around the front of the grocery store and turning their attention away from a football game on a radio boombox (sitting in a shopping cart from the store they were “picketing”) long enough to snarl “You know, you’re not helping us” at the people leaving the store then turn back to the game and drink more coffee (although I think a couple of them had beer, but that was 8 years ago). Guys, that’s where you lost me. This is YOUR cause and if you aren’t going to show me that you give a shit about it, how the hell do you expect to persuade me I should give a shit?
Here endeth the unrelated  complaint.
It is a bad sign when your personal trainer giggles and says “Okay” when you tell her that from now on, she will be known as” Torquemada.” My ass hates her right now. My ass hates her a lot.
I frustrated the poor girl today, I can tell. Certain areas, my defenses go WAY up and stand strong. The right knee with the asphalt in it and a long string of getting banged HARD into pointy objects is something I protect (and probably baby). Anyone who says “Man up” needs to wear my knee for a couple of days starting with banging it into an angled object (like the corner of a solid desk. We’re talking a direct hit on the kneecap). It hurts like hell (pain bad enough to nauseate me) and is extremely sensitive for days afterwards. If you want me to do something on all fours where the kneecap is in contact with the floor, I need a mat. I have fallen climbing stairs (fall forward, brunt of impact on wrist of outstretched hand. Navicular fracture), bruised or fractured my coccyx (hence the subsequent muscle spasms in the lumbar region. Well, that and The Great White Belly).  Consequently, each of my wrists has spent time in a cast. I have balance issues, not just because I’m in poor shape, but also because I have ongoing inner ear issues. I have had back spasms, broken toes and other similar injuries over time that, well, okay, I’ll just say it: I’m a big chicken about pushing myself on certain moves. And I just flat refused on a couple of points (like a horse saying “Oh HELL NO” to a fence), today being walking lunges. I’m angry at myself  because this is a trained professional and she’s not going to let me hurt myself.  The walking lunges put pressure on the damaged kneecap and I have wobbled and fallen out of them. But refusing to challenge myself is part of the reason I never got good as a skier (that and I hate being cold). I must overcome this.
The other exercise that made me hold back a bit was a step exercise with a stool that was maybe 18” x 18” on the step. I couldn’t focus as well on form because I was so worried about missing the step or falling off and twisting my ankle. Again, this is a pro. She’s not going to let me hurt myself. I must trust her.
I am also angry at myself for not giving her a clean slate, so to speak, on her training methods. I was bringing in “stuff” from when I was working with The King back in 2005. He wanted me to work muscles to exhaustion. He wanted me to work on free weights rather than machines because of the extra effort required without a machine to carry part of the load. She has a different approach. She knows what she’s doing and I should respect that and let her do her to make my life better.
On the other hand…
She took away hot dogs, tortilla chips and (temporarily) red wine. Great – no more liquid muscle relaxant. The greatest blow, though, was (Play “Taps,” if you would be so kind) almost no more beef. Filet mignon once a month, maybe, but no burgers, no ribeyes, no jerky (well, that stuff’s pretty salty for my taste, anyway). I think I’m actually going to go through the 5 stages of grief on this one.  I got a lecture on having gone to In N Out (ONCE! OKAY? ONCE! AND I DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE GOING TO PUT SAUCE ON A SINGLE PROTEIN STYLE! I EVEN SACRIFICED CHEESE ON THAT MOTHER!) . I got even, though: I told her all about Five Guys Burger N Fries. When I see her on Monday, I giving her a Mapquest  print out to the nearest one. Heh heh heh heh.  I could see the lecture coming on a mini Edy’s ice cream  along with wine and tortilla chip consumption when I pointed out the date and explained that the Red Goddess had demanded sacrifices. She was not impressed. Or sympathetic.
(For the record, I have tried the Trader Joe’s no sugar added chocolate bars. The ones made with maltitol (I think that’s what the stuff is called). There is a warning label on the wrapper: that is the first red flag. The second, bigger red flag is that the warning is of a “laxative effect” if one eats too much. Not wishing to be a guest on “When Snacks Attack,” I will not be eating them again. Plus, they just taste gross.)
I told you this was a mean little person.  Seriously, she’d have to stretch to punch me in the kneecaps. And she just might, too.
Torquemada was smiling at me sweetly and asking, “Where are you feeling it?” when my knees were wobbling, my mouth was dryer than the Atacama Desert and I couldn’t breathe. I’m thinking she’s going to get flipped off at some point. However, she’ll probably just smile because trainers feed on your anger.
When asked to do “prison squats,” I blanched. I’ve seen “Oz.” Never, never, never bend over (or any move approaching that) in a prison. In keeping with my perceived politics, I seemed to lean towards the left, but that's only because she was was standing so far to the right.
I did get mad at myself with that one because I’m thinking that maybe I could have pushed a little bit harder and dipped a bit deeper, However, I resolve to try harder next time. Be fearless, be fearless.
And the little stinker had the nerve to give me homework: drop and do planks (or bridges) when I “feel bored.” And practice balance exercises (standing on one leg) when I’m bored with the plank.
According to the diet app ( or just go to the app store on your IPhone or Android. I cannot endorse this more highly), today’s workout was good for burning over 500 calories. That’s more than I had eaten for breakfast (oatmeal with raspberries, flaxseed and a shot of agave). According to Torquemada, I need to eat that within an hour before training with her. Okay, I can do that, but no hot dogs? With Fab Hot Dogs down the street from the gym (Victory Blvd and Tampa Blvd. Go, go, go!). Aw jeez…
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go curl up in the Child’s Pose and whimper softly for a while.

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