breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘exercise’

What is Dripping Down My Neck?

Growing up in south Texas was a very sweaty experience. My friends and I ran around in the heat of muggy summer days without a thought about how red our faces were or how much our skin glistened. Who cared?

perspiration

When I hit junior high, I cared. Sweat really ruined my hair design (straight was “in” and sweat curled it crazily), and felt absolutely awful dripping down my back and chest. I learned to dislike sweating. A lot. I learned to avoid sweat-inducing situations … like exercising in hot weather.

But lately, I’ve been sweating more, even in the deliciously dry heat of southern Idaho. Even in the cooler morning hours. What’s up with that?

Could it be a good thing?

Turns out it may be that my body is working more efficiently. More blood is going to the surface of my skin, which in turn releases heat from my core. My sweat glands increase output to cool the body. It appears “fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks.” http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052001a.htm

So I am learning to tolerate that annoying dripdripdrip hitting my neck and shoulders. It is a sign of life.

What Motivates Me …

My daughter flew off to the Crossfit Games in California last week. She is still pumped from the experience. She got to meet fantastic athletes and she brought her enthusiasm back to the E3 box in Eagle, Idaho where she coaches and I where I push myself beyond my preconceived ideas of what my body is capable of doing.

jump rope

Like today. I can’t do double unders with the jump rope. So until I figure them out, I have to triple the prescribed number of double unders and perform that many single jumps. Today that meant 90 single jumps. But wait! There were 7 rounds. So that was a total of 630 single jumps. But wait! In between each set of 90 single rope jumps, there were 7 chest to bar pull ups (that I modify by jumping up to the bar from a platform). So that was a total of 49 pull ups.

And I did it. I remember the day a few months ago I had to do 300 single rope jumps and inside I was cursing and crying and whining and panting and thinking I would NEVER do THAT again.

Huh.

Funny how a little belief in the old self can chip away at all the years of disbelief.

What motivates me? The coaches at my box who quietly expect me to try, even if I whine. Who say good job and give me a fist bump when I complete new moves and hard WODs. Who tear up when I complete a BIG round of lifts that I didn’t think I could do. Who correct my many errors in form so I can stay healthy. And all the others Crossfitters who sweat beside me and cheer me on and validate that a 60 year old woman DOES have a place in a Crossfit box.

And these women: Row-Clean-Burpee: Women 60+ | CrossFit Games.

I know that I could have done the 1000 meter row, because I have done it. I am working on cleans and getting better. Now that I’ve seen these athletes bang out 50 burpees, I can work on hating them less and just try to get ’em done! Not saying I’m aiming for the Games, but if I pretend I am …. who knows?

Current Weight/Fitness Stats

Went to my dietician today. I’ve been going to her since Jan. 31, 2012.

First number is from that date. Second is from today.

Weight: 152 / 137 (lost 15 lbs.)

BMI: 26.7 / 24 (was overweight, now in normal range)

Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 (was high, now normal for my age)

Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 (was mid-normal, now high normal)

Body Age: 60 / 53 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)

Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 (less than 9 is normal)

I’d like to elaborate a little on the Skeletal/Muscle Percentage. From the end of January until the first part of April, I went to the gym to do weight machines every other day or so. I was really focused on cardio, and was walk/jogging or using the elliptical machine for 45 minutes seven days a week. I would aim to burn about 350 or more calories through cardio. My skeletal/muscle percentage showed an average monthly gain of 0.2%.

I started Crossfit in early April, 2012 and my average monthly skeletal/muscle percentage growth doubled to 0.4%. Not surprising, but validating. I will emphasize here that I go to a well-run Crossfit gym that knows how to work with all ages and body types/needs. I am a Careful Crossfitter as well and am pushing myself *slowly* to get stronger.

I adopted *mostly* Paleo eating ideas right when I started going to my dietician. She is very open-minded and did not discourage me from Paleo. She asked me to watch calories, however and I’m glad I did. There are a LOT of calorie-dense Paleo foods that are exactly like non-Paleo treats in terms of Taste Bud trickers and can lead to overindulgence. My dietician sees these pitfalls in almost all eating plans. She worked with me to develop healthy attitudes about them and strategies for enjoying them without going over the top.

One of the best outcomes: I have more and more days of a tremendously content stomach/body connection. Truly, truly eating when hungry …. stopping when about 80% full … truly, truly feeling emotionally full as well as physically rejuvenated.

Brats, behave!

It’s beeen said before. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, to get in shape. In my previous efforts to drop pounds, it was hard at first, but soon I’d get over a hump and it got easier. Not that way so much anymore.

Every ounce has been residing comfortably in my body for decades, aided and abetted by my bratty taste buds. Every ounce wants to stay, make no mistake about this. The longer I let them stay, the more stubborn they become.

There is some good news. I am making progress with my bratty taste buds, but the battles continue. Just as I tame the sugar-monsters, the salty-dogs rise up to cause trouble, sneaking in when I’m not looking. I don’t see them coming. Plus I tend to underestimate their power.

Bratty Taste Buds, give me a break here!

A little history …

My five pound, some-odd-ounce birth weight did not foreshadow a petite physique. My bratty taste buds started getting me in trouble early on. When I was seven, I got a little brother who needed to be fed. He was kind of like a doll who could sit up in his Baby Tenda and open his mouth for incoming baby food. Or not. If not, I’d eat the spoonful. Soon I could easily eat the jar of Fruit Dessert, sparing him a few slurps along the way. I was fired from feeding duty. No more Fruit Dessert for my bratty taste buds.

My bratty taste buds (MBTBs) started with small victories such as these, but quickly moved on. They demanded, cried, wrung their little tentacles and pitched fits. And I got sucked into their game … just fed ’em whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. The junior high school chefs made glorious deep fried cinnamon rolls the size of my head; eating one every morning after breakfast kept MBTBs smiling. After lunch, an individual pecan pie satisfied the brats. After school, I would get off the bus in front of the 7Eleven, head in and blow my allowance on convenience store cuisine; MBTBs wanted that haul before dinner.

My bratty taste buds were verrrry sly. I didn’t even know they were there. They just waited quietly in the wings like a predator waiting for prey: anything with sugar. And fat. And a little salt. Well, they didn’t always just wait. Sometimes they controlled me like a robot, sniffing out prey and moving me into range for the kill. There was no escaping MBTBs in a feeding frenzy. None.

But finally, the day came when the world discovered Twiggy and I discovered my bratty taste buds. I wasn’t exactly fat. But I had heft. Like a fool, I thought I could beat MBTBs into submission easily. Oh, I had no idea what I was in for!

Brattiness defined

Some people call some children brats. When they want their own way. When they think only of themselves. When they can’t listen to others. When they don’t give a dime about anyone else’s needs. Brats make life difficult, bump up a smooth road, throw gale force winds into a restful mood, irritate and anger friends and enemies alike. They must have control and they will get it through demands, manipulations, pity parties, tears, whining, screaming, tantrums, and at times even (gasp!) flattery!

My taste buds are brats.

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