2 April 2003
(heh-heh...that was fun yesterday. Gotcha!)
I'm noticing that I don't jiggle in some spots as much as I used to. Specifically the
bottom part of my thighs, the fat that hangs down when I sit in a chair. I looked down at
my legs this morning and the thighs don't seem to be as wide as they used to. When I
jiggle my legs, the fat has a more....solid...reaction. Can it be turning, slowly, slowly,
slowly, into -- dare I say it? -- muscle?
Of course there are trade offs. My upper arms, once solid with dimpled fat, now hang
limply. Now there's jiggle for you. Owell...perhaps with the arm work I'll be doing
at Curves I'll be able to eventually change that somewhat.
It's funny, but two of my previously stated objections to exercise have been (a) that I
didn't like to sweat and (b) that I didn't like sore muscles. I find that now when I
finish chasing Cindy around town, or finish my 3rd circle at Curves, when I'm sweating and
a bit out of breath, it's actually a good feeling. A feeling of accomplishment.
I've also been sore for the past 3 days. They say that the Curves workout, with its
hydraulic machines, is designed so that you won't be sore. But I'm pushing it a bit
("you get better results the harder you work," I was told) so I'm a bit sore.
Not terribly sore, but a bit.
It's a good feeling. It's my body saying "you did something for me." No, it's
not the most comfortable thing in the world--but it's a feeling of accomplishment. A proof
to myself that I got out there and did it.
Sweat and pain. They have become my friends.
We had a patient in the office yesterday who had lost 160 lbs. I was in awe and asked
her how she'd done it. "Surgery," she said. She's the second person I've run
into in the past week who has lost a huge amount of weight through surgery (the other is
the manager of the bank, who is a mere shadow of his former self).
Despite being a "recovering Catholic," the whole Catholic thing is much too
firmly entrenched in me to allow me to consider gastric bypass surgery. It's the
"doing penance for sin" thing. I've had a lifetime of food-sinning and in order
to be truly "forgiven," I have to do penance. The problem is...the penance is
turning out to be fun.
I'm getting in touch with my body in a way I never have before. I realize how totally
out of touch with my body I am when I try to do the stretching exercises at the end of the
curves session. Trying to find my elbows, for example--seems like a simple thing to do.
They're not exactly hiding. They're right there in the middle of your arm. But one stretch
is to hold your arms over your head with one hand hanging down while the other clasps the
elbow. Easy to do on one side. I can't do it on the other. Can't find the bloody elbow!
Talk about feeling stupid.
Then there is the balancing exercise. Stand on one foot and hold the other foot up by
your backside. Uh. I don't think so. Not without a couch underneath me because I have zero
balance. I've made great strides since January 2002, though. When I started this program,
I could not lift my right leg to put it in pants. I had to sit down to do it. (a) I
couldn't lift my leg up that high, and (b) it hurt to do it. Now I'm still a tad unsteady
while putting on pants, but I have no problem with either leg, and neither hurts. That's a
I won't even mention the thrill of putting on shoes like a normal person instead of
going through all these contortions to try to put them on my feet and then to get them
I also got down on my knees to take yesterday's picture of poppies in the field and
didn't really even think about it. Just got up again. It didn't take two people and a
derrick to help me to my feet again. I'm thinking back to a march I did in Washington, DC,
when Steve got to speak to the huge crowd of demonstrators. While we were waiting for his
turn at the podium, a group of us gathered on the mall and everybody sat under a tree. I
knew it was a mistake to sit down, but I couldn't justify standing while everyone was
sitting, so I lumbered my way to the ground. But then I couldn't get up. It took Michael
and Steve to help get me to my feet. Today I wouldn't have to worry about that. It's nice
to remember those little bits and pieces that are slowly changing.
(I also remember the walk from the mall to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, when I
thought I was going to die en route. I don't think I'd even think about that today!)
Today I went to WeightWachers (I'm in a holding pattern...still haven't lost any more)
and after a year I'm starting to feel like this is "my group." The leader may
not be the most dynamic, but I've come to really have bonded with her. There is a small
group of people who always sit together and I've now become part of that group. One guy
used to teach theatre and is a theatre buff (yes, of course he's gay), so he and I have
had a lot to talk about (he even knows the Lamplighters). A couple of women were
interested in Curves today, and I was the resident expert.
Ironically, today's meeting was on how we get support from meetings, as I was sitting
there thinking that I really have started getting support by attending these meetings. I'm
just a slow learner!
I also went to Curves after work. I discovered that (in my 3 days' experience), the
morning group seems to be older and heavier and I really fit right in. The afternoon group
today was younger and peppier and while I didn't feel out of place, it did inspire me to
work a bit harder, especially when doing the walking in place part of the routine. I
suspect that alternating back and forth between morning and afternoon groups (which my job
situation makes necessary) is going to be very good for me.