Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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It’s been a month now

I’ve been Nooming now for one month, and as of today, I’m down 21 lbs. Yup, you read that right. Twenty One pounds in 5 weeks and 4 days.

Thursday I went to the gym on the corner, the one that I pay for every month but never visited (you know how that works), and had a fitness assessment. At my weight and with my physical limits, I knew better than to launch into a full-blown exercise plan without being checked first. I know how to use the cardio equipment and the weights, but the back, sciatica, and foot with neuropathy made it crucial to not be stupid.

They dug up the last assessment I did there, from June 2017. At the time I got on the scale in my socks; this time I stepped on shoes and all. Taking them off is too much work just for a scale. My true reading comes at home; as long as I’m consistent at the gym, it will work. But in any case, I’m down 23 lbs from 2017. My BMI is down 3 points. Percentage of body fat is down. Resting pulse rate is in the “fit” category.

Best of all was the “6 minute walk” test. In 2017, I almost collapsed half way through it. This time I made it all the way through without having respiratory distress. Six minutes may not seem like much, but to someone who mostly sits all day, it’s big.

I now have a 6- week workout plan that is very modest and doable: go the gym 2-3 times/week for 30 minutes, working up to 3-4 times/week. Walk for 10 minutes, do the NuStep for 10 minutes, and the arm bike for 10 minutes (5 forwards, 5 backwards). After that, I’m to check back for adjustments and what to add in. I can do this.

I bought a little clip-on pedometer which is easier to carry around than having the phone in my pocket all the time to track steps. I update Noom on steps at the end of the day. Instead of trying to consolidate steps, I make more trips from one end of the house to another, from one part of the church to another on work days. In fact, I make laps down to Fellowship Hall and back up to the foyer of the church and back again several times during my mornings. So I’m moving more – I was up to 7,500 steps yesterday which was amazing.

Food doesn’t seem particularly hard, though having a box of donuts outside the office door is awfully tempting. But I have grapes and clementines to snack on and have protein, veggies & carbs at every meal. No ice cream, no cookies, no chips, no wine, very little bread. I can have ALL of that if I want to, I just really don’t want them.

I sort of feel like a commercial for Noom when people ask me about it. I’ve hated people telling me about their diets in the past when I wasn’t ready to work on my own eating, so have been reluctant to bring it up on my own. Plus I’ve failed a lot in the past – lost motivation, lost focus, lost energy. But I’m not on a diet. I’m learning to eat like a normal person – because I *am* a normal person, just one that’s too fluffy. But that’s changing.

Off to the gym. Go me!


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Fitness Assessment: Pitiful

Chubby LadiesI followed through on my promise to go to the fitness assessment. In a word (my word, not theirs), it’s pitiful. But it was objective and they were kind. I already know I’m fat and completely out of shape. My balance is off and my strength is minimal. Before I moved, I walked a lot to/from parking lots, out to lunch, off to meetings, up and down stairs. But now … well, now, that doesn’t happen. And my assessment showed it. I had to stop to sit and catch my breath and couldn’t even go 6 minutes walking without it. Granted, I started out going at a faster pace than I could maintain, but it was pitiful.

The good news is that there is PLENTY of room for improvement. The program they laid out for me seems minimal – but then, so did walking down a hall for 6 minutes. I’m to go 1-3 days/week and do 10 minutes on the walking track upstairs (where I can look out the window), 12 minutes on the NuStep recumbent cross trainer (working arms and legs but not weight-bearing), and 12 minutes on the arm bike, which Mom used to call the “coffee grinder” because it’s upper back and pectoral. They use it for pulmonary therapy so that should help me with my breathing.

Then in 6 weeks I check in with the fitness specialist who did my assessment. We’ll make adjustments to what I’m doing and add in weights (I hope – I like weights). This is doable. And it will get me out of the house to do something specific and focused, that I can control and that will make me feel better.

Yesterday I followed through on another commitment to myself and registered for a one-day conference in New Orleans in September for lovers of a series of books that I adore. Plus, New Orleans. This will not only be fun but also gives me an incentive for building up my stamina because there’s so much to do and see in NOLA.


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Gym & Remembrance

Today was my first day back at the gym since my infection surgery at the beginning of August – and I’d been away for most of the five months before that as I healed from the plastic surgery.  Although I’ve been walking, it hasn’t been much and certainly not up to pre-surgery activity.

So we started again, my trainer and I.   Because I still have the open wound (yes, after 7 weeks it is still open, though greatly healed), today was more about movement and not lots of weight or pulling motions such as lat pull downs which could pull on my wounded area.  I doubt I’ll be sore tomorrow, usually my clue about how well I worked my body, but it did feel good.

It’s scary to see how easy it is to gain weight back.  Oh, I’ve done it lots of times before (it’s my pattern) but I don’t like watching the scale and the way it has been nudging up a few pounds.  I know what to do to turn it around but have lacked the focus to actually do it – and all of this time away from regular exercise has not helped.  So it was particularly important that I had the appointment today, to get back on track.

On the other hand, it was definitely NOT good to be in the gym on 9/11 with memorials and interviews and related movies showing on every on-screen channel.  I was on the treadmill ten years ago in my Boston gym, watching as the planes hit the towers on one screen with Top Gun air fights on the next screen over.  It looked as though we were watching military scrambling to go after the people who struck the towers.  Unsettling and vivid.

I have only watched one of the myriad 9/11 shows this week.  I overloaded on all the coverage 10 years ago and cannot watch now.  I remember it all without seeing it again.  The one I did see was about baseball and the role it played for New York in the days, weeks, and months after the towers fell.  HGTV has been playing most of this weekend when the TV has been on.

At least we had power.  After Irene came through, almost 70% of Connecticut was without power for at least some time, including many of my staff.  My director’s house had major structural damage from a big tree crashing into the roof.   Roads were closed from flooding all over the state.  Schools ended up using “snow days” before the doors even opened for the year, due to power outages, flooding, and/or damage.

But I was fine here, other than leaking windows and losing cable for 8 hours (and with it, my internet and phone).  I have a good supply of lanterns and batteries, and those will come in handy later in the year when the warning is to prepare for a blizzard.


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In the Pool with Webbed Hands

Pool training today at the gym was surprisingly fun.  It made a big difference to have my glasses on – I could actually see what my trainer was doing (duh, what a concept).  I did walking, jogging, Nutcracker leaps, frog jumps, squats, and worked upper body muscles with those little yellow water weights.

The best part was using these cute weird webby gloves that made my hands look like duck feet.  They increased water resistance and made a big difference in how much my muscles were working.  I liked them so much that I bought a set for myself when I got home.  They’re small and will be easy to pop into a gym bag or a suitcase when I travel.  Oh yeah, the bathing suit comes with me, too.  And I have them in the next 2 sizes down, too (Lands End was having a sale) so I’m set for a while.

I felt surprisingly good about the workout and am planning to go back tomorrow for more pool work and/or work on the weight machines.  I’m not ready for classes – I need to work on strength and endurance before I’m really ready to jump into faster stuff.  I’m keeping an eye on my knee, and my trainer is showing me different positions that work muscles while easing the pressure on those unhappy joints.

I already see that not having to worry about joint pain while exercising, which makes me more interested in doing it.  Good thing the gym is only 2 miles from my house!


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Back From the Gym

Yes, that was me that just said I was back from the gym.  I’ve belonged to my local gym practically since I moved here, joining because it was the only place with a pool, but I am the first to admit that mostly they’ve just been taking my money while I prided myself on my lovely gym bag and all the things I could do if I only went.  But I didn’t.

My Boston gym was for women only, and I loved it.  No one was in competition, no one was showing off with assorted super-cute super-tight workout clothes.  Equipment was scaled better for women – and there was an elevator that people with injuries could use to go from one floor to another.

My new(er) gym is definitely co-ed with some seriously muscled men front and center when you walk in.  Everything is bright with acres of equipment, bazillion pounds of free weights, a 5-lap pool, a spinning room, raquet ball rooms, and class space for a variety of things that look energetic.  Almost all the cardio equipment is located up a big staircase – lots of everything, but you have to climb up and down to get it.    It’s pretty intimidating.

But I met with my new personal trainer last week for the first time and feel better about it.  She is small but powerful, motivating but also understanding that I am not in good shape and need help within my physical limits.  One thing she said last week that’s stayed with me was not to be afraid of knee pain, but to be conscious of it and be able to not just say, “Ow, it hurts!” but to be able to describe the pain (sharp, stabbing, throbbing, dull, etc.) and on a scale of 1-10.  This makes sense to me.

We will be spending most of our time this summer in the pool, exercises, weights and walking laps without doing water aerobics, since even in the buoyancy of the water, that’s still a lot of impact on already cranky joints.  Last week she also showed me alternate ways to do squats, Pilates bridges (which felt fabulous), and work on some of the equipment.  I always liked using the machines as long as I knew how to use them properly, and it actually did feel good to use them again.  Who knew?

So today I did it again, leaving work early for a visit to the health center, then heading for the gym to (theoretically) work out before it got crowded with after-work people.  I climbed the big stairs and did 15 min. on the treadmill at 2.2 mph, and then went down to work with the equipment, trying to remember what we did on Saturday since I couldn’t find my card.  I was super happy to find and use the adductor and abductor machines (the ones with the legs wide apart while you move them in and out slowly).  And to do it at 100lb weights!

One thing about being a fluffy person – we have strong legs.