Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleep In Heavenly Peace......Yeah Right!!!

Okay, so yesterday I told you all about my newest torture and now I’d like to share with you a little torture that’s been going on in my bedroom. Now, before you think I’m getting naughty, let me assure you that there’s less action happening in that room than a convent in the Vatican City. There are two things I’m battling lately, the first is insomnia and the other is my cat.

Let’s begin with the insomnia situation. Now, I can’t say I have a real “diagnosis” or anything, but I have decided that I have a disorder that I will now call Restless Sleepatitis. Sure, you won’t be able to find it on WebMD, but I’m pretty sure that the NIH is only days away from coming out with news about this condition. So, what happens is that I go through my day and have the normal 3pm tired spell but I recover and make it through the rest of the evening. At around 10pm I get so tired I can’t keep my eyes open, but I struggle against it because there is more entertainment to find on tv and I’m not willing to let myself go to the land of sleep just yet. Occasionally I succumb to the sleep and I don’t wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to go, I wake up 4 hours later wide awake and unable to fall back asleep until just about one hour before my alarm goes off which is a big slice of awesome pie. Now, when I win the battle of the 10pm drowsiness I can’t fall asleep until after midnight and then I’m restless until my alarm goes off at 7am. Now, the only solution I’ve found that works is having a few glasses of wine, but I hardly think my trainer or my liver would appreciate this as a method for better sleep every night.

So, in addition to my sleep challenges, I have another obstacle I face each night, the damned cat. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I love that little bugger more than I can say, but must she find the one spot on my bed to sleep each night that I want to put my feet? Must I live in fear that she will decide to play the “pounce” game when I move my feet under the covers and attack me? Does she have to see a shadow of something in the middle of the night and go on a rampage to find the mystery dust ball or whatever it is and freak me the hell out? I mean I guess she gets her kicks when and where she can, but I fear that I may have to kick her out of the bedroom soon unless she gets her act together. She’s so damned cute that I guess I let her get away with it, but the bags under my eyes are getting so big I have to check them when I go to the airport and enough is enough!

Can anyone help me with my struggle to get a good night’s sleep? Send me your advice, recipes for sleep, or drug recommendations, I’m all ears and I’ve got plenty of time to read through your ideas tonight……………

Monday, September 28, 2009

A New Day, A New Torture

I’ve been toying around with the idea of starting a blog and just hadn’t put it together yet, but today I had an experience that was blog-worthy and I decided that there was no time like the present to launch my own site. I hope you enjoy! To start, I’ll introduce you to my new world as I launch a journey towards fitness.

For those of you less familiar with my journey, it started back at the end of May when I decided that it was time to stop being polite and time to start getting real about getting myself healthy. A friend of mine introduced me to a gym in town that was all centered around personal training. She had great results after having her baby so I figured that while I still weighed more than she did at her 9 month pregnancy mark, I should give it a shot.

And so the pain began. I started with my first session where I both almost lost my lunch and cried. It was my “introductory” session to get a sense of how things work and after seeing what horrible shape I was in, I immediately signed up for 8 weeks of sessions. I was introduced to my trainer, a 5’2” woman from Ecuador who was ranked # 8 for soccer when she played PROFESSIONALLY for her National team. Yeah, 5’9” and all kinds of pounds of me meets 5’2” Gabby who is solid muscle and a wee bit scary. But somehow, some way, we kind of clicked and now I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else. We’ve struck an interesting balance where she pushes me but is careful of my limits and I give her great advice on how to handle her tumultuous relationship with her girlfriend in Colombia. The other day she wasn’t listening to my advice and I pointed out that I was in fact wearing a Dr. Phil t-shirt and I knew what I was talking about. Incidentally, this morning she thanked me because they made up after their most recent argument based on my input. Go me!!! I’ve always dreamed of helping lesbians work out their relationship problems, what a gift I have.

Okay, so every 5-6 weeks, Gabby changes up my routine. Now, I often catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and chuckle as I realize the crazy stuff she has me doing. Fat people are not supposed to do the things she makes me do, but I guess that’s the point. But honestly, sometimes it is just ridiculous. For instance, when she demonstrates an exercise and it involves jumping, it always takes me a second longer to execute because when I jump, the world seems to move with me. Last week she had me jumping off a step and I almost knocked myself out with “my girls”. Today I was lifting some dumbbells and was instantly reminded that I need to keep coming to my workouts because I have the buff arms of an atrophied elephant.

So, today we were due for a routine change. Just so you have a window into my world, here you go:

q 30 reps of a lovely squat/row combination that makes my legs burn, my forehead sweat and my body ache for it to end as quickly as possible
q Then we go to the floor for 30 crunches where I hold a large exercise ball between my legs and pull it up to my chest. Again, dying is often preferable when getting to the last 10 of these when the burning sensation hits 5 alarms.
q Then up again where we, and by “we” I mean I, do 30 reps of pulling a dumbbell up with one hand and down again and then switching sides. She’s hysterical when she tells me to exhale as I lift the weight. If I’m not careful, I’ll take out my own nose.
q Then we round it all off with “wood chops”. Now, Helen is probably familiar with these as is Paul Bunyan, but I have not had the pleasure of this little exercise in my city-living life. In this little ditty, I grab the handle and pull up from the floor, across my chest and towards the opposite wall. To keep it funky fresh, Gabby has me do this really quickly so it’s a cardio exercise/strength training combo, two for the price of one, I’m so lucky…

After doing this once I’m pretty tired, but I get to do it 3, that’s right 3 times before I’m done. And then the stretching begins.

The stretching is both my favorite and least favorite part of the work out. It’s my favorite because it means the heavy lifting is done, but it’s my least favorite because she has me lay down for part of it and pulls my legs up. Now, for both the ladies and the gents out there, once you’ve done this once in a pair of loose-fitting shorts, you’ll think twice every time you choose your underwear before a workout. While she may have enjoyed the purple flower pattern I was so proudly displaying to her, I wanted to die!

But the beat goes one, the pounds keep melting off and I feel stronger and stronger. But one thing is for sure, I cannot take myself too seriously with all of this because it turns out that this shit is just too funny. So, welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy it and I hope I can make you laugh every now and again.