Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There are actually muscles under that bubble of fat you call an ass

197.8 lbs. Okay.  2 days to drop the excess 2.4, but okay.
Susan Powter, as loud and obnoxious as she was, (and, according to some, a fraud. It’s the American way. Donald Trump was actually born in Canada. You heard it here first) had a good summary for her philosophy “Eat, Breathe, Move.”  Choose the correct fuel (although her fondness for carbohydrates translated into bigger clothes for me), provide plenty of oxygen so that your internal combustion engine (your metabolism) can burn the fuel and actually make the engine work.
 I’ve worked diligently on the choice and amount of food (although some days, cheese just solves all your problems).  The closest  I’ve come to processed food was buying guacamole from Whole Foods.
As for the breathing, I find that eliminating gluten has helped with that. No shit: since my teens, I was constantly doing battle with my sinuses. Since I’ve pretty much eliminated wheat and gluten from the diet, I’m breathing freely. EVEN AT NIGHT. I used to wake up to full consciousness (of which I was aware) at least once or twice a night and some days, I was dragging my tail feathers so badly, it felt like I had gray fog instead of gray matter between the ears. Unless I’ve had more than  10 cups of water the previous day, I am sleeping through the night like I did as a child. It’s wonderful. The first couple of nights this happened (as a grown-up), I almost cried. I’m still grateful every morning.
As for the move, well...
There’s an infomercial for some exercise program that emphasizes “muscle confusion” as part of the program to get results. My muscles are confused by  being asked to move. I don’t think I’m in the target demographic.
I start tomorrow with a personal trainer. I was very clear about my goals: 125 lbs. by December 31, 2011 (and that was NOT my New Year’s resolution. My only New Year’s resolution was to Bedazzle something. I still have to do that, but I’m leaning towards a jean jacket. Just have to get the jacket and starter kit), learn strength training exercises for upper and lower body, learn the correct form (highly important), establish an exercise regimen that includes cardio work, yoga (for stretching and strength) and resistance. Hey, I’m turning 50 in less than 2 months. I don’t have a family history of osteoporosis, but I don’t want to become physically helpless because my body isn’t strong enough. And, as I have said before, those of you who think I am too old to do this stuff, I have an upraised middle finger with your name on it (and a very large blue topaz ring. Emphasis).
No more arm flaps. I’m not shooting for a set of guns like Madonna (those are scary) or even the First Lady, but when it’s 90 plus degrees in L.A., you want to have the sleeveless option. I prefer sleeveless without feeling like total strangers are criticizing me. You may point out that it’s unlikely people are actually judging and making comments, but I remind you of the following:  1) I have a family history of precisely this kind of behavior, 2) this is Los Angeles, where looks matter.  I’ve had total strangers call me “big and angry” (I’ve also gotten “fat fucking whore” but that was online from someone who didn’t want girls in the Red Sox group on Myspace. Ironically, he had 3 chins according to his picture. And you ask why I’m not dating? Can I trust anyone? I don’t think so) and 3) this is my neurosis, not yours. Plus, upper body strength means better support for the White Mountains (Not my idea. One of my friends from law school came up with that one) and fewer back aches. Biceps and triceps and delts, oh my! There will be reports.
I went to yoga again today. This time, no raging hormones or cramps, but no Lila, either. Phooey. We had Amy.  Amy told us she’d be teaching a combination of Pilates and yoga. My back went up (well, literally, it went up later when we did Cat pose). I was there for yoga, dammit, not the LA Combo platter. Really, how good is the workout going to be if you don’t stick with one thing and teach THAT?
She kicked my ass. Sweetly and emphasizing focus on breathing, she kicked my ass. I’m lucky I have the strength to lift my arms.
I was ready for battle when she walked in. On my way to class (well, Target to get a yoga mat), an LAPD cop car followed me into the parking lot and the officers wanted to know how long I’ve had my car and have I let anyone else drive it. Frankly, I think this was bullshit because when I asked why (TWICE), they continued to say “There’s a warrant for it in connection with a crime.” What crime? More “there’s a warrant.” Finally, I am told that they had run the plate (more bullshit. They were in traffic behind me for less than 2 minutes, including being 2 lanes over at a stop light. I wasn’t doing anything). I am told, get this, that there is an outstanding warrant for driving on a suspended license. But not me. No. They claim the plate came up in connection with…a black male. No names, no dates, no other details. I once wrote a comedy sketch about the LAPD hassling a white female commuter just to prove that they weren’t targeting and profiling by race. I guess I got to live it today.
I needed the stress relief from yoga. I really needed it.
Today, my third session, we got into a balance pose. Umm. I have inner ear trouble stemming from some Godzilla sized earaches that went pretty much untreated (that’s a whole other blog). Suffice to say, I have a ringing in my right ear and looking up will cause my head to swim. I can walk a straight line, but between the vertigo and the midriff Michelin, balance was going to be a challenge. She chose…Tree Pose. For the yoga novice, Tree is the one where you stand on one foot with your other foot balanced somewhere on your leg, depending on your level. As a teenager, in shorts, I would stand in this pose (arms at side, though) for no other reason than it felt comfortable and I could (sole of foot to skin on calf/thigh has pretty good traction). My mother would ask me if I was a Masai tribesman. Hey, it was comfortable. I can still do it, providing I’m wearing shorts.
I wasn’t wearing shorts in class. I thought I caught a “neener neener” kind of look from Amy as she saw me struggle, but when I went to “balance on right foot”, I nailed it and changed my mind about writing in this space about  the name tattooed on her foot being hers and draw your own conclusions.
Unlike the previous two classes, I felt a profound relaxation (except for the muscles that will be protesting later) and felt like I had really worked hard.  Of course, last time, I was so hormonal, I would have pinched the head off a panda (good thing I was nowhere near the San Diego Zoo). I will return.

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