Friday, November 11, 2011

Boot Camp and Distance

I'm able to get to my gym 3 times a week, and Ana makes sure that I get the most out of my time there. You may have noticed me mentioning that I've been doing boot camps in addition to my standard Curves workouts and weekly Zumba class. Yep, Ana's behind all of that.

Have to say that I'm loving it. Loving how strong I'm feeling, loving the improvements in my endurance and strength, and loving the variety that this brings to my workouts.

I'm also loving that I've gotten fit enough to do a boot camp immediately after a full workout. Sometimes with a Zumba class thrown in there too.

And noticing that brings me to Distance.

Specifically, being aware of the distance that I've put between myself and my old life on the couch.

In the earlier days of this journey, I used to be hyperaware of the positive effects of my weight loss and how my increasingly active lifestyle was such a fantastic improvement over my sedentary one. A few times a day, I'd have thoughts like -

  • It's so great that my feet don't hurt in the mornings anymore. Good-bye, plantar fasciitis!
  • Check it out - I don't see black spots after climbing a flight of stairs anymore!
  • Remember how much I used to dread the hot days of summer? Not anymore!
  • Wow, clothes are so much more flattering now!
  • Someone invited ME to do a 5K??
And so on.

If you've never been very overweight, you might not be aware that heavy people can spend a tremendous amount of mental energy in living this way - dreading shopping for new clothes, being self-conscious about trying to fit into a seat on a busy subway, worrying about being judged when eating in public, dreading warm weather, dreading putting on a bathing suit, standing at the back of the group when someone gets out a camera...the list is exhausting to think about. As they say, being fat is hard.

But now it's been a couple of years and I've kind of forgotten just how it felt to go through life carrying an extra 80 pounds. Back when eating properly, exercising and races are what "other people" did.

Somewhere along the way, those daily mental comparisons of obesity versus activity, and being grateful for the improvements, have become a very once-in-a-while thing.

I mentioned quite some time ago that I'd read that for every 25-pounds lost, it can take a full year for our brains to process how our size has changed. That until that time has passed, we continue to "think like a fat girl" - continue to avoid those cameras, get stressed about clothes shopping, and so on.

You know something? I think I'm finally caught up.

I no longer have those lingering social anxieties about being heavy. I'm excited about having a list of races as long as my arm on my mind for the coming year. And the things that I notice these days tend to involve my increasing strength and speed compared to my recent abilities. I'm no longer constantly comparing how life is better to how it was when I was inactive, and am spending a lot more time living in the present. Simply appreciating how my life is now.

And in realizing this - I'm pretty proud that I've gotten to this leg of the journey.

How are you doing on yours?

Here's this week's recap -

Beautiful sunshine but oh so cold for riding!

Saturday - FINALLY got out on my bike again. Rode to the gym & back (6K round trip), worked out including 30 pushups. Later - 2K dogpark walk and out for dinner (Indian - YUM) with the family.

Sunday - 2K dog walk in the AM, 2K dog park walk in the afternoon.

Monday - 2K dog park walk, Curves + boot camp including 30 pushups, 2K dog walk before bed.

Tuesday - 2K dog park walk

Beautiful sunset. But it's 5.02pm. We are not amused.
Wednesday - Curves + boot camp (including 30 pushups) + an impromptu 1/2 Zumba class...followed by a 2K dog walk.

Thursday - 2K dog walk.

Friday - Played in the leaves with the kids and the dog. Lots of hot chocolate afterwards.


  1. What a great post! Like you I don't often think as much about my fitness level, but the other day I was thinking that I had only gone for a two mile run.....only 2 miles huh? There was a time that many years ago that the thought of going 2 miles on my feet was beyond my comprehension. It feels good... :)

  2. This is a great post Jen, and it totally hits home for me. Almost every one of the "fat girl" things you mention are things I can relate to.

    I don't think my mind has totally caught up with my body either. I think that might be part of what has held me back from losing the rest of my weight. (I'm down 50, but would like to see another 20 or so.)

    Having said that, it's closer then it's ever been.