Archive for Stretching & Exercise

TEARS OF SHAME IN THE HOT TUB!

I put my new swimsuit to work this week.  In my mind, I saw myself arriving at the pool, delicately climbing down the ladder into the pool (have they not heard that stairs have been invented?), and beginning to walk/run lengths of the pool to loosen up my sore knee.  I was certain the water would support my old joints and I would become poetry in motion in the water.  I expected that after my time exercising and stretching in the pool, I would nimbly climb back out and be amazed at how much easier it was to move.

Umm, not so much.  While attempting to climb backwards down those narrow steps to gracefully enter the pool, I lost my grip on the metal handles and proceeded to fall unceremoniously into the pool, gasping as I hit the cool water!

“Well, at least there was only one other person in the pool and he was busy doing laps so I don’t think he saw your performance,” snarled Munch.

At last, I had reached my destination…I was waist deep in the buoyant water where I felt more at home than on dry, solid land.  Finally, I would be able to walk without pain, at least that is how I imagined it would be.  It turned out, even in water my knee acted up, but it wasn’t nearly as painful as walking on solid ground, so I just carried on and hoped that the pain would die down once the joint was stretched out and lubricated.

I had every moment of my time mapped out that morning.  I would walk/run for 45 minutes.  Then after 10 minutes in the hot tub, I would still have almost a full hour to shower and do my full beauty regimen before climbing in the car and heading to work.

What I hadn’t planned for, was how bloody boring it would be to walk laps in a pool for 45 minutes.  I tried to make it more interesting by timing myself and trying to better my best time each lap.  I also changed it up by alternating between walking and swimming.  Finally, it was over!  That wasn’t so bad, was it?  Uh huh.

Now it was time to jump out of the pool and head to the hot tub – my second favourite spot on earth!  What I didn’t allow for was how bloody tired my body would be from a mere 45-minutes of exercise.  I placed my foot on the bottom rung of the ladder and started to climb out.  O M G!!  Once my body emerged from the buoyant water, it suddenly felt like it weighed twice as much!  In addition, my leg muscles were fatigued from the exercise and I was having a terrible time to pull myself up out of the pool!  I gripped the metal bars with every ounce of strength I could muster and finally managed to step up onto the pool deck.  Thank goodness the other swimmer had already left and wasn’t witness to this performance!

Back on dry land, I wasn’t able to move with the grace I had shown in the water.  I kind of shuffled over to the hot tub (thank the universe the hot tub had stairs I could walk down), I turned on the jets and walked down into the soothing water, crossed to the other side of the hot tub, sank down into the rolling, soothing waters, closed my eyes, and burst into tears!

I felt so ashamed!  How had I allowed myself to get into such sad shape again?  Similar to my experience in the airplane washroom in 2009, even though no one had witnessed my humiliation, I felt totally, overwhelmingly ashamed!  But this time, I knew better than to try and hide my shame.

What I have learned since 2009 is, there are very few things that grow well in the dark…mushrooms and shame are the only two I know.  I’ve learned if I hide my shame, if I refuse to acknowledge what I am feeling, the shame will paralyze me—I won’t be able to get past the experience and I will shut down and will continue eating to try to numb the feelings…and we all know how that ends, don’t we?  In fact, while I was sitting in the hot tub, Munch was already planning what wonderful foods I could buy that evening that would make me feel better.

Just a couple days after my pool adventure, I am still so sore and stiff I am having trouble moving.  This wasn’t how I pictured this adventure would go, but I am dealing with the cards I am dealt.  I will give my body a bit more time to recover and then I will head back into the pool.

Hell, no, I am not giving up! Hell, yes, I will always pray for an empty pool with no witnesses to my ineptness until I improve my agility!  But witnesses or not, I will keep trying!

Do you have a shameful secret you are hiding because you don’t believe anyone else has experienced it and no one else will understand?

What would happen if, today you choose one trusted person in your life and share your story with them and tell them how it made you feel?  Maybe you will find out you are not alone?  Maybe the simple act of sharing your story will give them permission to release their own shame?  Maybe by shining a light on your shameful secret you can finally release it and forgive yourself?  That is what I wish for you!

You, like me, are doing the best you can.  Forgive yourself.  Just keep trying to do a little bit better every day!  You’ve got this!

 

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YOU’RE TOO FAT TO WEAR THAT SWIMSUIT IN PUBLIC! WWTT?!

That’s what Munch is telling me this weekend.  You remember Munch, the annoying voice in my head?  I know I need to move my body more, but I have given up the walking I love because it is excruciatingly painful for my knee with the extra weight I am carrying again.

As I puzzled over how I could begin to move more, a lightbulb came on!  I remembered how easy it was to move in the water when I was at my Aquasize class.  Ta da!  I could walk in the pool at my gym without pain!

On Friday, I went shopping and bought a new swimsuit.  I was totally excited about getting back into the pool…and then Munch chimed in.  You’re too fat to wear that swimsuit in public!  WWTT?  (What would they think?)

Dreaded WWTT disease was back!  This disease used to control my life.  I was paralyzed by it.  I thought I had conquered this years ago, but here it was raising its ugly head again and I was letting it dampen my excitement about going to the pool.

I love this saying…People who care, don’t matter and people who matter, don’t care.  But I also know it’s not easy to turn the other cheek when people say unkind and sometimes downright nasty things to you in public.  I keep telling myself they are saying more about themselves than me when they spout off, but that still doesn’t make it easy to ignore the hurt and pain they cause.

Before I head to the pool this week, I have armed myself with a come-back that I will use if I hear any comments about my weight.  I giggle every time I think of it.  I almost wish someone will make a derogatory comment just so I can look them in the eye and reply:

UNLESS I AM SITTING ON YOUR FACE, MY WEIGHT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

That may be too “out there” for you, but you do need to think about how you will react when, not if, there are comments.  There are a lot of damaged people out there who think that putting you down will make them feel better.

Maybe you are the type of person that can just let the comments fall away and totally ignore them.  Maybe you, like me, need to mentally prepare yourself to deal with the hurtful comments.  Whatever you do, you must push WWTT to the side and begin moving your body.  Your body will thank you for it!

 

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I HIT A FITNESS DEAD END!

I was walking a beautiful, new trail I discovered in my neighbourhood today. I had some great tunes playing on my iPod, the air was fresh and clean, and the sunshine was beaming down on me. I felt wonderful! Suddenly, I looked up and the trail had come to an end.

I was really disappointed because it was my first exercise in a few days and I was having a great time. This week had been busy at work and at home, and I kept telling myself, “I am too busy to exercise,” and “I will just apply myself and get caught up, then I will do something for me.”

I wonder if you have ever thought something similar? Do you sometimes (often?) put the needs of others before your needs? I sense a few heads nodding yes.

Next time this happens, I want you to ask yourself, “Who and what is more important than me?” Hint: the answer is no one and nothing!

I was reminded of two very important lessons during my walk today:

First, by putting off exercising, I was avoiding the very thing that would have relieved all the stress I had allowed to build up. When I move my body, I feel my head clearing and the weight of the world being lifted from my shoulders. I cannot feel depressed or stressed while I am moving. Try it and see if it works for you… I am betting it will!

Secondly, to never let obstacles stop me. They may slow me down temporarily, but anything can be overcome if I put my mind to it. In the past, I might have allowed that dead end to signal that my walk was over, considering it a sign. Today, I just altered my course and continued on.

These lessons apply to all facets of life, not just to fitness. Never let obstacles stop you! Alter your course and carry on!

One of my favourite quotes about fitness is, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!” Start moving your body today. It’s not about weight loss (although that might be a positive side effect), it’s about feeling better – mentally and physically.

Even if you only walk around the block, breathe and move your body. Small steps taken consistently, will propel you to success!

 

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These stretches are saving my knee…. DAMN FITBIT!

I was recently introduced to the Fitbit by someone near and dear to my heart. If you are not familiar with this gadget, the Fitbit Zip is a tiny little wireless device you attach under your clothing that tracks the number of steps you take in a day. You can also track your food intake, exercise, water and sleep on your computer or smart phone. It is a terrific health aid!

My friend thought the Fitbit would ignite my competitive spirit and get me up and moving! She was so right! But I may have overdone it in the beginning in my desire to compete with my friends on Fitbit and now I am having some issues with my bad knee.

No problem because I have a personal trainer. Maarten Van Nus knows some wonderful stretches that are really helping! Did you know that often, knee pain is caused by problems with the muscles supporting the knee and not the knee itself? That is the case with me because his amazing stretches make my knee feel better almost instantly.

Not everyone can take advantage of Maarten’s training in person so I was delighted to be able to announce on my Facebook Fan Page that Maarten now offers his stretching exercises in video format. For only $18 US funds (approximately $20 Canadian), you, like me, can have lifetime access to these videos.

A couple of women I had not previously met, discovered the videos on my fan page, purchased them and both are already experiencing improvements in motion! You can too! Sample the videos prior to purchasing them at this link now: http://bit.ly/1tuKvR7

Even if you don’t have a Fitbit driving you to walk more and more every day (Damn Fitbit), these stretches can do amazing things for your body.

Do yourself a favour and check them out now!  http://bit.ly/1tuKvR7

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