Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

Okay, I misread the scale yesterday, despite the double check because it was 176 this morning.

Fuck a doodle doo. Still, when the goal is to drop weight, 176 is infinitely  better than 225 lbs. and the size 12 jeans still fit. Life is okay. And I’ll tell you why.

Russell Simmons was on Mark & Brian’s radio show this morning (95.5 KLOS, 5 – 6 AM repeat, 6 -10 AM live. Available as a podcast and I recommend giving it a listen. I just did again so I could quote him accurately), talking about his new book, “Super Rich, A Guide to Having It All.”  Normally, this would just be background noise as I looked over the financial data for people more financially secure than I (and fiscally more responsible. With better credit. And big fat fluffy brown tabby cats asleep on their beds in the appraisal photos). I have nothing against Mr. Simmons and didn’t know that much about him: Def Jam, Def Comedy Jam (Martin Lawrence’s springboard), Phat Farm, Kimora Lee, that’s about all). Today, though, he caught my attention.

Russell Simmons spoke, not of the great deals he had made to create his wealth or tips and strategies for building a personal fortune. I wrote down a few quotes (and if you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas, I’ll take a copy of this book, a leather trench coat (I’d have to try it on to know the size), a tablet computer and a year’s lease on an apartment in the LA area.  One that allows cats. And a pair of kittens. Brown, tabby, fluffy. AND FOR E HARMONY TO LIVE UP TO ITS ADVERTISING.). Without having read the book (yet), I’m still pondering the first few, but the last one was a message I needed today:

“Give your talents until others can’t live without them.”

“Good givers are good getters.”

“Rid yourself of neediness. Super rich is needing nothing. Needing nothing is a state of bliss. Operate from a happy space.”

“If you don’t love it, leave it alone.”

(The big one) “Let go of results. Stay focused on the work itself rather than the results. Work is the prayer.” He further explained this was part of a Bible quote that explains we don’t have control over results, but we do have control over the work we do.

As this applies today, I thought I was further along on the weight loss project than I actually am and the joy and elation I felt yesterday took a hit this morning when the scale was 176 not 170. However, I ate my healthy breakfast (non-fat Greek yogurt, blackberries, ground flaxseed), worked on my paying gig (underwriting) and went to yoga class. While I was in yoga, I focused on contracting and really engaging my abdominal muscles and I felt a big shift in my ability to get into and hold certain poses. Oh, I’m a hurtin’ unit right now, but I did really good work in class today. I was careful about my calorie intake today (whether it did any good, we’ll know in the morning).

The work itself.  Eating properly (and there will be blogs on that. I’ve discovered some recipes that stave off cravings for naughty baked goods), drinking plenty of water and exercising. The week before Thanksgiving, the topic on the show had turned to diet and exercise (which it does a lot. Mark makes an announcement of when he’s going to Five Guys – what so proudly I hail – for a cheat meal) and how metabolism changed from being skinny teenagers who could eat everything to men of a certain age who had to be mindful of eating and exercise. A guy called in and mentioned isometric exercises. “Isometric exercise or isometrics are a type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction (compared to concentric or eccentric contractions, called dynamic/isotonic movements). Isometrics are done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion.” (copied and pasted from Wikipedia). Basically, you contract your muscles while you’re just sitting there (Years ago, in a TV Guide article, Victoria Principal described doing isometrics. Being overweight and not fond of hard exercise, I was interested. Never did it). If you’ve seen the infomercials or (cheapy Joe TV ads. You know the product is crap when you see them) for the electric band that you put on your muscles and it “contracts them for you”, save your money: you can suck in your gut for free. I digress. My point is, since I heard the guy on Mark & Brian, I have been practicing isometrics during my day. I spend about 7 hours staring into a computer screen, why not contract the abdominals and get in some strength training at the same time?

Am I seeing a dramatic difference in my waistline? No. On the scale? See the “fuck a doodle doo” © that started off this post. BUT, while I’m not visually seeing a difference, I’m seeing a difference in my ability to perform certain moves. I can sit up straight for longer and longer periods of time  and the back fatigue/pain takes a lot longer to come around. I’ve noticed that I’m starting the isometric work even without thinking “Oh, yeah, tighten the abs.” And I still fit in the size 12 Calvins with the unforgiving waistband. Even after they’ve come out of the dryer.

I leave you with the great philosopher, Dory, who has the same message, just phrased differently:

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