With my membership at Planet Fitness I can bring a guest with me anytime I work out.  I've brought my son Ryan, and my husband with me a couple of times.  I've decided that I prefer to work out alone.  I often see groups of two people working out together and I wonder how they do it.  When I'm working out with someone I feel like I have to stay with them or work out the same amount of time as they do.  My husband once came with me and left before I was done and had to come back and get me when I was done.  I don't want to feel like I have to do something different in my routine because a guest came with me.  I also don't like to be spoken to when I'm working out.  When I work out I'm in a zone and prefer to be left alone.  At first I thought maybe I'm a little weird in that way, but when I look around I notice that there are a lot people who always come alone.  They give off the same 'leave me alone' vibes that I do.  There seem to be close to the same amount of solitary exercisers as there are group exercisers.  To each his own I guess.
 
 
I've always heard the saying, no pain no gain.  One of my sisters said that I shouldn't feel pain when I workout, but I disagree.  When you have spent day after day, year after year, not moving, not getting any exercise, everything hurts when you finally start moving.  There is no way to avoid pain in that circumstance. That being said, there is some pain that you shouldn't feel. Sharp, acute pain is an indicator that you need to lay off of what you are doing.  You could be doing it wrong, or sometimes that area just needs to rest for a few days or more and you need to focus on other areas for awhile.  There are some areas of my body that hurt a lot when I first started working out, but now they rarely hurt, but there are some areas that still hurt. 

There is another type of pain that is part of the challenge of losing weight...emotional pain.  When you start to lose weight is when you really realize what you have done to yourself.  There is a lot of guilt associated with that.  I look back and think, I could have done this 20 years ago, and spent the last 20 years being able to do more with my kids. 

Developing the will power to stick with your plan to change also causes a lot of emotional pain.  Sometimes giving up just seems so much easier.  And it's hard when you look in the mirror and think, It's not happening fast enough. You want to lose everything now.  You want to wake up, look in the mirror, and see that person you are working so hard to be. 

I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to encourage me, and to just say good job.  I've lost 43 three pounds.  Sometimes that seems like a lot, and sometimes it seems like a little.  When I had lost about 25 lbs I didn't feel like that was very much until my son put a 25 lb weight in my hands and said, "I doesn't feel like  a little bit of weight any more, does it?"  Sometimes you just need help from other people to put things into perspective.
 
 
I usually have to drag myself to Planet Fitness to work out.  I walk in thinking, "I don't want to do this."  Mostly, I don't want to use the recumbent bike.  It's torture.  It's definitally easier if I have a really good ebook to read, though.  Today I rode it for 30 minutes, and I had it on level 3.  The first time I rode the bike I couldn't ride more than 5 minutes on level 1. 

After I rode the bike I worked out on 14 machines.  The machines, although working me hard, are easier than cardio work.  The bike makes my lungs work harder and it works my entire body at once, instead of a single area at a time.  If I do the machines before the bike, I don't get far on the bike.  It's not a good idea to tire myself out before starting the bike.   

I worked out for a total of one and a half hours, and I worked hard.  After I worked out I used the massage chairs for 15 minutes.  Although I was dragging my self into the gym, I left with a feeling of total euphoria.  It's always this way when I work out.  I walk away feeling like I have accomplished something.  That I am moving forward.  I feel like nothing can stop me.  It's incredible.  It's better than any chocolate high.  No...seriously...it is!
 
 
When I first started working out I could barely ride the recumbent bike for more than 5 minutes.  I could only do 1 set of 10-12 reps on each machine.  My highest time on the recumbent bike was 27 minutes, just a couple of days ago.  I've been doing three sets of 15-20 reps (depending on the machine) lately.  Yesterday I walked 3/4 of a mile for the first time in many years. 

All this exercising doesn't come without a price.  Some days my back and knee hurt so bad that I have to take a few days off of exercising.  I don't push myself to exercise until I feel pain.  I push myself to do what I can, and let my body tell me when to stop.  Usually the pain comes on hours later, or the next day.  Then I let my body tell me how long I need to relax.  When you have spent as many years laying around and getting NO exercise as I have, pain when you finally use those muscles is inevitable. 

The trainer asked me if I want him to work up a new routine for me since I am getting stronger.  I told him that I have already done that for myself.  My body tells me what it needs and doesn't need.  If I'm feeling achy in my shoulders then I don't use the machines that work my shoulders, until my shoulders tell me it's okay to try again.  Our bodies are amazingly smart.  They will tell us what they need.  We just have to learn to listen.

Those of you who know me know that I love action movies.  Olympus has Fallen was totally awesome.  When I watch action movies in the theater (it doesn't feel the same watching them at home) and I see someone running, it always makes me want to be able to do that.  I want to be able to survive a zombie apocalypse...or a mugging for that matter.  I don't want to be the slow, fat, easy target.  Heck, I'd settle for being able to run to my car when I'm late for work.  I've done so much damage to my back and knee that I doubt I'll ever be able to run any marathons, but a quick jaunt out to the car would be nice.
 
 
I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I do love the occasional latte.  Of course, we all know that Lattes have tons of sugar; therefore, they are high in carbs.  Well I found my own little solution to that.  The other day, at Costco, I bought a box of individual vanilla protein drinks that only have 4 grams of carbs.  So I empty 1 eleven once drink into a glass measuring cup.  I heat it for 4 1/2 minutes, stirring every minute (very important step).  Then I pour it over three vanilla chai tea packets, in a small teapot.  I let it steep for 10 minutes, and then squeeze the bags over the pot.  I add one to two splenda packets (still pretty sweet without them) and I stir.  Once you pour it into a teacup you can add a small amount of whip cream if you want, but it's unnecessary.  Whip cream is pretty low in carbs, though.  And there you have it.  It's yummy.  I know it's not truly a latte, given that no coffee is involved, but it's a great alternative.
 
 
When I think about why I finally decided to change my health and my weight, I realize that my mirror had a lot to do with it. I can actually get ready in the mornings without looking at any part of me, other than my hair, but when I sit on the toilet in my half bathroom downstairs, I have nothing better to do than to look at my face in the mirror in front of me. For some time I had been looking in that mirror and thinking, "Who are you? I don't know you." 

Have you ever watched one of those horror movies where a real person gets stuck in a mirror, while their reflection is let loose in the real world? The person in the mirror can see everything their reflection does, and they start screaming, "That's not me! Don't listen to her, she's not me!" That's how I felt every time I looked in the mirror. I'm looking at my reflection and inside I'm screaming, "That's not me. I don't know who she is, but that's not me!" That person has 2 chins, she's too fat to have dimples, her cheek bones are
non-existent. That person doesn't even smile.

Now, as I look in the mirror, I am starting to see the real me there. When you lose weight your face is one of the first places you can see a difference. I've lost 32 lbs. and the real me is starting to take over that false reflection. I'm beginning to see cheekbones and dimples again. My chin is starting to work against gravity,
instead of with it. Smiling has become a little easier. I refuse to ever lose myself that way again. No evil reflection is going to take over my life. I'm coming back, and I'm staying!

 
 
I was going to post about my birthday that was yesterday.  Now, all I'm going to mention about my birthday is that I did have a piece of cake.  It was my birthday after all.  Right now all I can think about is how bad my back hurts today.  Days like today make it difficult for me to see a hopeful future when it comes to my physical well-being.  I have noticed that I've been able to increase my exercise levels from just a few weeks ago, but I don't feel my back getting any better.  As a matter of fact, it almost feels worst some days.  Today I just want to curl up on my couch and cry.  It's mostly the right side.  Over a year and a half ago I had an MRI of my back.  It showed that not only do I have arthritis in my back, but I also have a bulging disc.  I'm thinking that that has gotten worst in the last year and a half.  I should have decided to change my health years ago.  Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.  I'm going to have to see a chiropractor soon.  For now, I'm going to take some anti-inflammatories and lay on a heat pad, .
 
 
I'm not really fond of the word lazy.  I prefer the word unmotivated. If I lose my keys and I ask my kids to look for them, they will wander around picking up an item or 2 and look under it, then announce that they can't find them.  However, as soon as I offer $2 to the person who finds them, they will turn my house upside down looking for them.  I found the motive (something that causes a person to act) that gets my kids going.

It is so easy to look at an overweight person and judge them to be lazy.  Especially if you see them laying/sitting around doing nothing.  Being overweight makes it difficult to do things that thinner people consider easy.  Household chores, walking around the store, or even walking across your livingroom is hard.  It takes overweight people more work to do these things.  Things that are simple tasks for thinner people, can cause back pain, knee pain, breathing difficulty, and other physical stress for overweight people.  Bringing dishes to the kitchen might take a 300 lb. adult the same physical effort that walking 2 miles might take a 120 lb. adult.  Most people won't look at a thin person who refuses to walk 2 miles and think, "Dang she's lazy,"  but they will look at an overweight person who won't get up and walk to the kitchen as lazy.

When you are overweight doctors just love to tell you that you JUST need to lose weight.  'Oh, is that all I need to do?  I'm so glad you told me. Here I thought you had a magical pill that would make everything better.'  They really think we don't know we need to lose weight.  They also really think that we JUST need to eat less.  We know what we need to do, but what we need to do is so difficult that we need to find that motive that makes our desire to do that thing more powerful than the pain and difficulty there will be doing it.  You would think that feeling and  looking better would be motive enough, but for some of us, it's not.  And sometimes that initial motive that gets us started isn't quite enough to keep us going.

What motivated me to get started were several videos I watched online that showed people in the same or worst shape as me and they lost weight by taking baby steps, and not giving up.  I realized that I don't need to do everything at once.  I started with cutting out sugar, then I started eating more veggies, then I went to eating low carb.  When I get close to the weight I want to be I will switch from low carb to other healthier ways of eating. 

After I lost 20 lbs. or so, I got a membership at Planet Fitness, and I started exercising.  I saw the free trainer, there who set me up on a workout schedule.  I took the same baby step approach with my workout schedule.  The trainer agreed that I should start with less sets of reps at first, and work up to the schedule he set for me.  I'm also going just 3 days a week.  I do not need to work myself to death.  Baby steps are better than no steps.

Another motivator in my life, the one that keeps me going, after the initial one got me started, is this site.  Because I told all my Facebook friends and my family about it, I don't want to let them down.  That is why every comment someone makes on my blog helps me to keep going.  I don't want to disappoint you.  So thank you to those of you who care enough to encourage me.  You are my heros.
 
 
I worked out today.  I pushed myself a little harder than the last time I worked out.  It's been over a week since the last time I worked out, and boy am I feeling it.  I went to Vegas for a few days, and then I was sick for 4 days.  I'm so glad to be over that.  I did; however, loose the six pounds I gained in Vegas, plus 2 more.  Sadly, I lost it because I was so sick.  I had some kind of bad stomach bug. 
 
 
Well, I was doing so good and I had lost 25 lbs; however, I spent the weekend in Las Vegas, and gained 6 lbs. over the weekend.  I did get some exercise by  walking a long distance to get from my sister's car to the front of Planet Hollywood, so that my kids could go to the Goretorium.  All that walking really
killed my back, hips, and right knee.  I was in so much pain that I couldn't get out of bed on my own the next day.  I'm still in pain, but not as bad as I was yesterday.  I refuse to feel to guilty about this weekend.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  I can tell you right now that I'm going to eat some
cake on my birthday. 

I was just reading that Honey Boo Boo's mother lost 120 lbs. Good for her.  Hopefully she changes her
kids' diets too.  No, I don't watch that ridiculous show.  I just read an article on Yahoo about the mother losing 120 lbs.  Hearing about other people losing weight encourages me. Maybe some day I will be someone else's encouragement.