Shake Ya Ass! But Watch Yaself!
It took some time to figure out fitting physical activity into my life [I’m often swamped looking at pictures of cats on the internet!]. It’s still the challenging part. The first step is assessing what ways you workout already. One of the office buildings I work in has the slowest elevators I’ve ever seen. It’s like there’s a hamster on a wheel turning the gears. Drove me crazy! Taking the stairs saved my sanity, but I didn’t log it as gym time. When the structure of my workday changed, and I ended up spending more time at another location [where the elevators work just fine], I stopped taking the stairs and started wondering where my sexy ass was disappearing to. Take accurate stock in what you do. Seems like a no-brainer, but its obviousness eluded me for a while. I would either do some traditional type of calisthenics or I would berate myself for being a lazybutt. I’d finish working out and sit the backyard thinking I wish I could work in the garden, but it’s either work out or garden. It didn’t occur to me that gardening is working out. I throw one-woman-living-room-dance-parties all the time [because no matter what the adage says, dancing like no one’s watching is easier when no one’s watching] but I didn’t consider it exercise. But it is. And the more fun things you can attribute to working out the more you’ll want to work out.
I also had to account for my daily commute. [In my mind] Riding the bus for twenty minutes or so was less stressful than driving forty-five minutes on I4, sure. I didn’t connect that walking around town, to and from bus stops was a workout until Orlando friends came to visit me and begged me to slow down. My most recent visitor said, “I really like it here, but isn’t there a flat part of Seattle?”
No.We’re fresh out of flat. Hills, though. We got hills for days. And it’s no coincidence that a high percentage of Seattle sexy asses are speedwalking up Capitol Hill. The glutes are proof!
It Doesn’t Matter Where You Are
Another important aspect of my weight loss journey is that [for the most part] I was either unemployed or underemployed, meaning I couldn’t really afford a fancy gym membership. [I used free trial promotions to test the ones I mentioned] Or to buy resistance bands or other accessories. Gymlessness challenged me to find ways to workout in the small space of my apartment during Seattle’s rainy season and to take advantage of the hills and views in summer. I found plenty of exercises that use my body weight as the resistance for building strong muscle. My inner lazybutt liked it because I didn’t have to waste time traveling to and from the gym, I was already there. I’m already there right now.
[Extra Credit: Hold your arms out, hands in tight fists, and flex your abs. In the space of 5 seconds–nice and slow–move your arms up, maintaining that ab-flex but stretching upward with your chest. Spend 5 seconds returning to outstretched position. Boom. We just exercised together. Do that 5 times. Takes less than a minute. I do this whenever I’m working on my computer and my eyes need a minirest.]
Every Little Bit Counts
Good news, exercise is cumulative! That means every little bit counts! If finding a big chunk of time to work out is too much at first, break-it-break-it down! To fit it in I used my awareness as a miniworkout cue. You know, just whenever I thought about it. For example, I’m sitting at my desk at work during some downtime, you know, flipping through a magazine. I see a hottie with a lotta body. Instead of thinking aimlessly about what size I wish I wore, I do ten push ups. Bam. By the end of the ten push ups my arms are a little tired so I push back into child’s pose.
Child’s pose is the restful stage of sun salutations. More often than not, I’ll end up continuing into a downward facing dog or a plank or something. But even if I don’t, those ten push ups are locked down. The trick is finding the cue that works for you.
Another cue example? Honeybee’s workout cue is when he’s getting ready for the day. It may seem counterproductive, but he doesn’t sweat much so it works for him. He’ll be all clean and ready to get dressed and then he grabs a 15 lb weight and does some arm circuits. [And I’m at the front row of the gun show!] He uses a twisty ab machine and then uses the height of the machine to do inverted push ups, too.
Remember: Whatever it takes.
As a whimsical [read: distractible] writer, I really have to focus on getting everything out. Sometimes I get my notebook out. And my favorite pen. And a yummy beverage. And a nail file. And tweezers. And some water in case my yummy beverage is too sweet. And a snack. And a toothpick. Well, you see what I’m saying. I’d gather all this stuff around me so that I wouldn’t have to get up and I could magically focus. Negative. I spent hours and hours just sitting in front of a computer or hovering over notebooks without ever getting up and without getting any more work done. These days I find reasons to get up. While I’m upstairs getting water or lingering in the backyard, I think about the task that is downstairs and more often than not an idea will come out of the blue. It’s exciting to have an idea you don’t want to forget, to race back downstairs to reach my pen or keyboard and lay it all out just in time. It makes writing way more Indiana Jones.
Excuse Me, Why Are You All Running If No One’s Chasing You?
My go-to cardio is jogging…buuut I hate it. But I love it. Let’s just say jogging and I have a turbulent relationship. Honeybee will have no part of it, either. [Although one time he jog-stalked me from the car and clocked me at 5 miles per hour!] I thought the same way before. Actually, I thought, ahem, pardon me, it’s just that there aren’t any cops or natural disasters anywhere around here…why are all you people fleeing?! Because, seriously, there are a lot of joggers in this town. They’re jogging in the Seattle misty rain, they’re jogging in the sunshine. There were even joggers I saw out during our last snow storm! And how do you run around without looking like you’re going to die? Because, really, that’s what it looked like any time I tried to run. As with yogurt, I tried it two or three times and decided I couldn’t get behind it. [Lazybutts Unite: whenever there’s something good for you that you don’t wanna do, find a way to make it easy, then try again.] Instead of getting down about only being able to run for one minute or so, I planned for it. I told myself I’m gonna go for a 29 minute walk and then I’ll have a 1 minute jog at the end. Next time I said, I’m gonna go for a 28 minute walk and a 2 minute run. And so on. Now that I’ve torn down the initial mental barriers and my lungs are getting used to the workload, I can say that I love jogging! I love it most of all when I’m in the middle of it, but when I’m not jogging it still reads in my mind as a chore. So I make it easier. In a perfect world, I would find extra motivation and get up an hour or so early every morning to get my jog in first thing. [Sometimes I do, but most times I don’t.] To make it easy on myself I don’t expect myself to get up early. Instead, I plan to do it after work when time isn’t so constrained. To up my lazybuttability I put on my running clothes as soon as I get home. As soon as. This is important because once I’m dressed, it’s easy to get going. Next thing you know I’m gone and I’m loving it again.
I run in racing stripes and plaid shoes because they make me go faster.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Most especially when that person is you.
But that’s not all! There’s one more part to this saga. Keep an eye out for I Work Out: Part Four (Shit Gets Real)