Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

181.8 lbs, but…

This post is a photo essay of progress (covered up for the most part. I don’t have suitable shorts for working out and wasn’t about to strip in the middle of a commercial gym). The intended body shots to show definition and fat loss didn’t turn out as planned, so it’s mostly “I couldn’t do this on this date last year.”

Warrior I Pose: You  can sort of see the definition in my legs. Pay no attention to the Great White Belly (except to note how much smaller the area directly below the bra band is. It's like gentrification putting the squeeze on bad neighborhoods. At night, when it's VERY quiet, I hear this tiny, faint voice crying "I
m melting"). The butt is looking pretty good. Even naked (which only a select few will get to see and you aren't it).

I AM ACTUALLY HOLDING UP MY OWN WEIGHT, DOING A PUSHUP. Last year at this time, not no way, not no how (another "Wizard of Oz" reference), even though I'd already shed over 20 lbs. from the Jan. 31, 2011 reading). You get a better look at the hamstring, calf and gluteus definition. And the arms. Shoulders are more defined, but you can't really see it here.

This is Downward Dog (before class, so I was still kind of stiff and not really warmed up). My heels are parallel to the floor (I'm on a double mat because I need the padding for my right knee) which means the hamstrings and calves are stretched. You can see the arms are toned and there's some shape to the back that is not squishy adipose tissue. It ain't pretty and you can't see the muscles shaking with the effort, but's smaller than it was. We'll take smaller.

Warrior III Pose: I can balance. Everything is as clenched as if I was trying to hold in a fart at a funeral, but I can hold the pose. Balance requires strength. I have strength (well, more than I used to have).

This is Boat Pose. I'm holding Boat Pose and not capsizing. This means the abdominals have strengthened, as well as the back muscles. And yes, there are people doing more impressive things behind me (Flipping the Dog. Downward Dog and then flip over. Yeah, not me. Not yet), but the fact that I can hold this pose is pretty important. Having figured out the Plank (and the need to contract abdominals, glutes and back muscles - what are they called? - in order to make
 the pose work), it's moved my progress forward on other poses at a good clip; we do a lot of Planks in yoga and all that muscle contraction works them and strengthens them. I haven't had any back issues since I figured this out.

I'm going to get a real photographer and some better clothes to "show off" what I've got so far.

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