Category Archives: Fitness Omnibus

General Update


Haven’t been posting about it since my shame receptor burned out, but going to the fitness club is now painless.  Helpful hint if I ever fall off again:

  • Change your SHIRT AND BRA AT WORK;
  • Change your PANTS AND SHOES AT GYM.

Changing clothes is my least favorite part of the process.  I hate flapping my tits at the gym (terrifyingly packed with coworkers) while I try to untangle my sports bra.  I hate changing pants and shoes at work, because our floors are not safe to touch and my ride is waiting while I fumble with keeping shoe soles from touching work clothes.  It works well to split them.  Takes less time at each end, lowers stress all the way around.

Still need to find a reliable distraction.  One session on the treads was wrecked by having more than half of the TVs showing the same revolting right-wing news show, with the other two TVs valiantly screeching about the same stressful crazy-time stuff from the “please don’t kill people without good cause” / AYFKM end of the spectrum, with the rest being two-teams-I-don’t-care-about-playing-football-poorly.  UGH.  But I can’t read when I am treadmilling it, I hate podcasts / being read to, and my music choices always, always fail when I make playlists in advance.


Failing so far, not worried for now.  I have a plan that is ready to execute, but I also have a workplace happy hour tonight.


Unhappy hour.  We’re all ready to quit or burn the place down.  One reason for the happy hour tonight is to break in a new team member, see if we’re heading toward jelling, or heading toward disaster.  The person seems like a dim shipwreck but we’re desperate here.


Has been better.  LOTS better.  Home-prime is alienated for both of us.  My best friends are struggling with marriages and illnesses and newly emptied nests and new normals.  My own reason for being is having surgery next month.  My aunt is guilt-tripping me to visit her before she dies, and my baby sister, who is still in her 30s, not only had her breast cancer return, but found that it’s metastasizing.  That gut-ache is too much to talk about now, or here.

Mental Health:

Visualizing what I look like in a state of rich contentment is depressing.  Had a panic attack at work yesterday, leading me to skip the gym, go to the store, have junk food for dinner, and not do as I had intended and make a plan for mental health.  Hell is certain.




11/20/2017 – Fitness Log and Blog

11/17 – Friday.  Got off only a little late from work.  Saw that the coveted near-end treadmill was free and jumped on it…only to learn that the TV it faces was NOT turned to the coveted channel.  I do not know how to operate the remote, and am too timid to change a channel in front of a room of strangers who might be watching it…even if it is showing the same damned news program that’s on three other screens.  DAMN IT.

Learned that being able to tune out to cheerful home & garden reno shows is a big part of my tolerance for otherwise dead time on the treadmill.

Ate delicious tacos afterward, too — shredded beef toothpicked into a tortilla, frozen, and deep-fried, just like those at Juan’s (Irma’s) in Phoenix.  Sublime.  Hard to diet with a few days left to Thanksgiving.

Decided not to go to the gym over the weekend.  Every damned day is just too intrusive.  Maybe one day it will be part of my real self-care routine, along with brushing teeth and washing bod, but for now it is part of my work day:  go to work, go to gym, and my work day is not over until I’ve gone to the gym.

I plan to cultivate a gym routine that decompresses me from work, but for now, getting the routine in place is the key step I have to complete before I can move forward.  (Realizing that there are steps in life, one BEFORE the other, is a big deal for me, and new enough that it might slip away from my awareness.)

But the gym is not yet helping me decompress.  First I will need to lose a LOT of weight, and I will need to improve my cardiac strength.  The doctor says I’m fine based on healthy blood pressure, but when I exercise, the chest pains and overall feeling of weakness is real.

Over the weekend, I ate too much, drank too much, and didn’t sleep nearly enough.  When I did sleep, I had nightmares about work.  Part of it is the stress of my workplace, period, which involves high expectations and low support, and part of it is the misery of one of my clients.  It’s weighing on me heavily.

Over the weekend I cooked and played video games — didn’t sew, didn’t clean — and did run errands including holiday groceries.  But I woke up at three this morning and never got back to sleep.  Had to call in sick to work — I was so groggy / logy that I was not in a position to make it to work safely, maintain environmental awareness, or perform to the minimal degree of competency.  Tried to nap earlier, but I was cycling hot and cold; the best I managed was a few hours of horrid dreams (involving my job AND trying to find my lost mother AND going to a loved one’s funeral) followed by lying in bed, shuddering in and out of sleep, finally giving up and getting up.

Today I am grateful for mind-numbing video games and TV shows that are total fluff.  Chores are good therapy, but some days I don’t have the energy.  Id est quod id est.

11/16/17 – fitness log

Stress level:  Left work two hours late, still behind, high stress.  Bawling my head off for a suicidal client as I entered the gym, only to run into chipper coworkers…one of whom followed me into the locker room and chatted at length as she peeled outer layers to a bathing suit underneath, and I unpacked and repacked and re-un-packed my workout clothes to avoid flashing my tits at someone who outranks me.

There should be a special stress modifier to amplify running into coworkers in public, with bonus gold star and oak leaf cluster for being cornered in a changing room.

Exercise:  light day due to short sleep, high stress (chest pounding before I even started) and kept the incline and speed low until the end.  I cranked both a few minutes before cool down and moved my heart rate from moderate to borderline high.  Honestly, the distraction of home and garden shows, Jeopardy, and the sportsball makes the time pass for me.  36.5 minutes at 2+ mph / 2%, 3.5 minutes at 3 mph / 5%, 110 – 140 hr.

Feelings:  a little shame and self-loathing, possibly residual from work, not specifically linked to any gym activity or incident.

Breakfast:  two eggs and a tsp of butter, ~200 kcals

Lunch:  mug of saffron rice made with rich stock, probably an easy 500 kcal (~300 rice, ~200 schmaltz)

Dinner: big bowl of leaves (negligible), chicken lunch meat (100?), a mushroom and a two-inch section of small zucchini (who cares, call it 25) and some oil and vinegar dressing (200? I don’t care.)  400 total?

This would put me in good shape, but I’m about to have a large cocktail and something crunchy, so add another 400-500.  Still might be lower than usual.

Wish I could exercise hard enough to work out my ya-yas without giving myself a stroke.



11/15/2017 – fitness log

Workout status: 40 minutes walking, 5 minutes cooldown, steeper incline today, higher heart rate (120-130), currently having chest pains.

(Didn’t work out yesterday due to working two hours later than anticipated. 😦  )

Feelings:  looked forward to going to the gym; bored on the treadmill; worried about those chest pains.  Not an iota of shame.

[Maybe there is something to this whole idea of letting your feelings run their course without trying to stifle / smother / repress / out-think / overanalyze / reduce / diminish / discount / etc. those feelings in a way that most people would (inaccurately) call gaslighting.  If you would condemn your crummy ex-boyfriend for treating you that way, why are you treating YOURSELF that way?]

Body:  taking it easy means very little soreness.  Here on Day Two, we are glad to be setting a good new habit, not trying to overdo it and break routine to recover, not causing damage that will lead to delay.  A good habit can be made better.

Dinner:  bowl of micro greens topped with the meat mix for PF Chang-style lettuce wraps: pound of ground turkey and med-small onion fried in a little oil; 2 T *each* minced garlic, minced ginger, hoisin sauce, shoyu, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, and finely sliced scallions; can of water chestnuts, matchsticked; drizzle of sesame oil to finish, dressed with more splashes of vinegar and tossed with the leaves.  Tasted very good, but enough sodium to knock you down.

SUPER short sleep last night — woke at 4:13 and never went back to sleep — but I bet I sleep like the dead tonight.



11/13/17, appendment

For all I talked, yesterday, about needing to talk about my feelings rather than talk about my thoughts and shred my feelings with analysis, that’s exactly what I did.

How I felt: Shame, fit for a zealot in King’s Landing.

Shame:  I made all these bad choices, look at them; I’m wearing them on my frame.

Shame:  my fat and my lack of fitness are like an enormous debt run up on a secret credit card, with a super-high interest rate, that everyone can see.

Sadness:  when I was not at a gym, my bulk made me invisible; people looked away from my body.  (They didn’t seem disgusted, for the most part, and those who did were easy to dismiss — clearly they had their own problems.) But at the gym, people notice my degree of fatness.  Everyone checks each other out.  Some of these folks doubtless came from fatness, possibly even greater than mine.  But this big-bellied mess is what I brought to today’s bake sale, and it makes me sad.

Shame:  people also notice my degree of fitness, which is nil.  I am not one of the big bulky girls who have ***muscles*** and are hefting kettle bells in the weight room.  I am not one of the bountiful, cursive women doing strength/balance moves in the yoga room.  I am not one of the fluffy lionesses dancing joyfully for an hour of non-stop power in the ballroom.  I am not one of the giant girls pounding out miles on the ellipticals or in the swimming pool.  They are gorgeous and strong and lovely.  I am not them.

Sadness:  I don’t have nice workout clothes.  It’s my brain’s fault.  Nice things are too nice for me to wear generally — if I buy something nice (at a steal; it’s in my DNA), I set it aside.  If I buy nice workout clothes, I feel them as pressure, and resist the pressure, and eat to feel better, and grow out of them.

Some plain pleasure in my crummy workout clothes, combined with a notarized conviction that my low self-esteem is appropriate: my ten year old sports bra zips up the front, saving me from the struggle of pullover binding, which derails the process.  My craptacular store-brand tennies with Velcro closures help me avoid the pain of huffing and puffing while I tie laces (and have to bend, face-burning and belly in the way, to retie them.)  My old Men’s Size X? t-shirt is loose enough to smooth out some side rolls, but doesn’t hang and increase my bulk.  My workout pants, $12, are actually the nicest thing I have, and the panels are supportive, like a fancy bra.

But this is a package nobody ordered.  And the pleasures I feel are confirmations that I really don’t deserve nice things.


(“I wanted leis of ginger and orchid; what I ate were Lay’s, of sour cream and onion.”)

11/13/2017 – first day at the gym

So many drafts, so many saved drafts.  For now I’m done with drafting.

Bought a membership on 10/30, didn’t go until today.  Realized I literally have no suitable clothes for this endeavor.  It didn’t occur to me to rally my stud points and wear street clothes to a rich-people Fitness Club, or carry them in a brown paper bag, and carry my locker key in my teeth as I sweat.  Shopping for fitness gear when you’re fat is a hell previously dominated by the bathing suit industry — which, as a person who has always preferred sporting skin, has been long forgotten.

Log, Activity:

40 minutes on a treadmill before it booted me.  Mostly at 4% incline and 2.0 mph.  It says I burned 170 kcal, which is a ridiculously high estimate.  It says my heart rate stayed between 115-120 for over 30 minutes, which is optimal for my age (~50) and my previous fitness level (glacial).  I hope it was being stupid and generous rather than deceitful, but either way, it can’t be trusted.

Log, Sensory:

Sweating into my freshly washed hair made me want to weep.  My freshly tinted hair has suffered since moving to a town with pipe water more chlorinated than the municipal kiddie pool I splashed in as a runt, and having to wash it every day will fry it to a crisp.  But I stink already.  Not in a good way.  My temperature is so high, I wonder if I’m in stroke territory (shopping list: hair bob to keep the hair up and my neck cool.)  I’m thirsty as hell (shopping list:  water bottle) and my extremities are on simultaneously on fire and slick with sweat (shopping list:  wicking towel).

Log, Feelings:

I am paranoid about my keys in the cup holder (shopping list:  key buddy, lanyard, carabiner) and paranoid about my phone, work phone, and work badge / notch key in the locker (shopping list: better lock, possible locker rental.)  I am deeply bored (shopping list: earbuds to plug into the TV jacks on the treadmill) and trying very hard to tolerate my misery, self-loathing, and shame as I sweat and pant at a regular walking pace sustained for more than three minutes (shopping list:  therapy.)

Log, Needs:

I need to accommodate my feelings.  Not ignore them, and not cater to them.  I need to let them be them, and feel them truly, and let them fall off me.

I need to avoid thinking about my feelings — or, more accurately, I need to avoid analyzing my feelings into emo confetti that never gets fully vacuumed out of the carpet, never fully gets out of the way.  Let the feelings heal.  Don’t pick at them.  They itch, they look grody, and oh they are delicious to bother and scratch.  Notice them and let them the fuck alone.

I need to be honest about the fact that my feelings might be real, but they are not to be catered to.  Years of my life have been spent giving myself comfort, succor, and acceptance, which my mother never gave me, for all she loved me deeply, just as my grandmother did not give her daughters those things — where would she have learned to show affection, approval, encouragement?

I need to give myself those things now in sparing ways, rewards for performance, if I’m ever going to grow up and be my own goddamned parent.

And I need to avoid thinking, generally.  I have mad skills in rationalization, redirection, and avoidance.  I am a past master at justifying the continuation of behavior that is harming me.

I need to set a pace that is not so leisurely that I’ll forget to go back, but not so pressed that I’ll need to take a break and never go back.

I need to go back.