Sweating it out

This week has been another tough week in a long line of tough weeks. I’m constantly frustrated at the moment – which is an improvement from the constant depression of the last few weeks, but still not the best feeling in the world.

Frustrated for a number of reasons:

  • Paycheque from last week has still not arrived in my hands. I went to chase it up yesterday and felt like I was talking to a brick wall and a stupid brick wall at that. Apparently, my address is too long and it’s my fault that the last two numbers of my apartment have been cut off. I should live on a street with a shorter name. So the cheque, having been mailed for some unknown reason even though I work in the same frigging building, is lost on its way to me and it’s my fault and I should grin and bear it. Difficult to do when I have a trip planned to New York tomorrow for family and I have no frigging money.
  • Our design team at work has taken the sweet time with a design for my project (posted for them over a month ago) and we’ve suddenly got first pass of the design NOW which means I have to mark it up and repost it NOW, dropping everything to make sure I meet my deadline when they can’t be bothered to meet theirs.
  • General stupidity facing me 😛

It all came to a head last night when I realised that another day had passed sans paycheque. I changed into my workout clothes, put on the 30 Day Shred and whipped through Level 1.  Note to self: time to move to Level 2 when you still have frustrated energy after 20 minutes with Ms Michaels!

So, still annoyed. Had a chat with a work friend about it and got off the phone still annoyed. So I got dressed and hot-footed it to the gym. All the treadmills with TVs were taken (grrrrr) so I jumped onto an elliptical and pounded out 40 minutes while watching America’s Next Top Model.

And yes, I felt 100 times better after sweating off the frustration. Still broke, still busy, but less stressed. Yes, I did eat some cookies as well but the workouts were the stress release.

I woke up this morning feeling a lot more rested than I have felt for a while. While the stress and frustration is still there, my body can cope with it better.

And tonight I’m torching it at the gym again.


Is all exercise created equal?

This post on NeverSayDiet has me wondering. What makes one kind of exercise better than another? Is it good enough to recommend exercise as a general or should we be judging people for what they choose to do?

In particular, this comment got me het up:

It does seem strange when normal kids start going to the gym. Although I guess in that sense, its strange that ANYONE goes to the gym, considering the possibilities of exercise just from lifestyle activities… but sad that this mentality is weighing on our kids, too.

What makes the gym suddenly so bad that kids shouldn’t be going? I didn’t realise that you had to be a certain age or mentality to go to the gym to exercise! Silly me always thought that it was GOOD for us to exercise and it didn’t matter how or where. Nowhere have I read that certain types of exercise are good for “normal” kids/adults and other types are good for the rest (abnormal?).

I joined a gym when I was 11. A new gym opened up near my place and the whole family signed up. I used to get my mother to drop me off and pick me up about 2 hours later – I’d use the treadmill, the weights circuit and the pool to swim laps. I sometimes met up with a friend and we’d make an afternoon of it. I always thought I was normal and it was good that I went to the gym – I’m not a team sport person so how else was I supposed to get fit and be active?

I love going to the gym now. I do get activity in my day-to-day life – I walk to the bus and from the bus on my way to work, I walk to the grocery store and carry my bags home. I take the stairs whenever possible. But my exercise? Comes from the gym. The treadmill, the elliptical, the bike, the weights. All. At. The. Gym.

I’m just wondering where the judgement comes from – are outdoor joggers better than treadmill trainers? Is it a superiority complex or is exercise not created equal?


I’m oh so tired today. Could possibly be because I woke up at 5:30am, got to work at 7:15 and worked a frigging long day until 4:30, then went to the gym for 1.5 hours. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired?

And guess what? I’m probably going to do it all again tomorrow. This workload is challenging and awesome but massive. I’m delegating majorly but still having to do a lot of it myself.

I’m refusing to let it get in the way of my health. I’m eating good food (just lots of it – working long hours makes me hungry) and still working out because you know, I kinda need a sanity check and sweating buckets on the bike or lifting weights is my sanity check.

Oh, and I seem to have ‘tennis elbow’ – any ideas on how to make it all better?

Moving on to bigger and better things

My new goal (as I mentioned yesterday) is to move from weight loss to maintenance and building more lean muscle. To help me get there, I’m upping my protein and lifting heavier (thanks Mizfit!) and after just one training session, I’m feeling awesome about it.

A couple of NSVs that I have to share:

I was doing single dumbbell rows and after one set with the 12lbs, I moved up to 15lbs. That’s huge for me, considering that 6 months ago I would have probably fallen over with a 15lb weight in my hand, much less be able to do 12 reps and 4 sets of it. I’m pretty stoked about that.

We ended the session with a plank. Usually, I get to a minute but I’m struggling by the last 10 seconds. Today, I got to a minute. I got to a 1:15. I got to 1:30 and then I collapsed. Considering that when I started this journey 9 months ago, I couldn’t even do 10 seconds in plank position, I’m REALLY stoked about this. Next time: 2 minutes (but don’t tell my trainer)!

Now if my hip would stop hurting, I’ll be a happy camper entirely. I have one leg *slightly* shorter than the other (about 1/2 inch or so) so the right hip aches occassionally. I know that network chiropractic helps it but the money aspect is huge at the moment, so I have forgone it since I’ve been in Canada. I was hoping to get back to Melbourne at the end of September and book in for a few sessions but alas, my visa is not sorted yet so my trip is postponed until at least December. I think I need to get myself a few sessions here otherwise lunges will be permanently on the no-go list and while I’m not a fan of them, they do burn mucho calories and work those muscles.

One thing I’m definitely proud of is the fact that I’m not afraid to tell my trainer when I need more weights. I never used to trust my strength and ability before. I’m more confident now that I CAN do it. Sometimes I do overestimate and again, I’m not afraid or shy to say Whoa! That’s way too heavy and know that I’m not chickening out. I no longer think as a weak chick. I am strong.

I am a STRONG woman. Hear me roar.

Oh, and my new protein shake? Rocks as a shake, not as perfect on the oats – I need to rejig the oatmeal recipe (less protein or more oats and water) but as a shake I’m loving it.

An open letter …

… to the women at my gym.

Woman on the stairmaster

Holding onto the arms of the stairmaster to prop up your body while you take minuscule steps on the stairmaster will not tone your glutes, hips or thighs. Nor will it really give you a cardio workout. Your biceps looks awesome but there are machines for that. Use them. Leave the stairmaster for those who actually want to reap its benefits.

Woman on the elliptical

Get off your frigging cell phone for 5 minutes please. Honestly, I accept it when people chat at the gym but I don’t need a one-sided cell phone conversation where you yell at some poor subordinate while striding away on the elliptical next to me. Turning up my iPod can only drown out some of your ranting before I blow out my eardrums and go postal on you. If you really don’t have a moment to disconnect from the world, stay at work.

Women on the bikes this afternoon

It’s not that bright inSIDE the gym – no need for sunglasses lady. Now before you think I’m all judgemental – I’ve seen this woman before. She is neither blind nor injured. These were definitely fashion sunglasses and not those glasses that go all dark in the sun. This was a fashion thing. And in my HUMBLE opinion, stupid.

And to the other woman who was obviously quite engrossed in her music, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I wasn’t. I wasn’t enjoying the loud bass pumping from your iPod much, but I was even less thrilled with your enthusiastic singing and semi-dance moves. Can you perhaps tone it down and use your inside voice and mannerisms while at the gym?