A Reminder Of Triceps

Let me tell you about push-ups. Why?  Because they come up in my exercise cards with distressing frequency.  And I can’t quite do a traditional push-up yet – the kind where you hold your back straight and rest on hands and toes. Not if I want to do mute then bend my arms a little.

What do I do, then?  I start by lying on my chest, and then I push myself up on my knees (in the classic “girl push-up” of my youth) and back down. Someday I’ll be up to a full push-up. Until then, these work.

So yesterday, I drew a card with a “diamond push-up”. It’s called that because you put your hands beneath your sternum so that thumbs and forefingers touch “making a diamond shape), and then you do the push-up.  So, I began.

Five push-ups in, and my triceps were burning.  By ten, my arms were aching and I was telling myself “maybe just 15, instead of the 20 the card calls for”. At 12, I collapsed onto the floor for a little rest. But, I managed all 20.

Me and my triceps weren’t on speaking terms for almost an hour after that. So, I guess that means the exercise worked?

Jumping With… Well, Not Joy, Precisely

Let’s talk a little more about my exercises, since I made it sound like they were killing me yesterday.  They aren’t, not really.  Oh, sure, I’m a little sore when I finish.  Also, I’m a little out of breath when I finish them.  But I figure that’s a good thing, because it demonstrates that I’m actually working.  And they show some progress, despite me feeling a little bad that I’ve backslid.

For example, yesterday I drew two different cards that required jumping.  One was something called a “half-jack” (which is literally a jumping jack where you just bring your arms slightly above shoulder level), and the other required me to crouch down and leap into the air.  I did both, which doesn’t really sound like that big a deal when I type it out.  But, a year and a half ago, I’d have skipped that second card and drawn a second one.  I was heavy enough that the idea of jumping was laughably implausible.  Heck, the half-jack would have been challenging.

Of course, a year and a half ago I was also looking at doing four of the exercise cards as an impressive achievement.  Now, I’m looking at six of them as the “get back on track” starting point while I work up to doing ten of them.  So that’s progress as well.

What I’m saying is, I’ve made progress.  Even if (as I also keep saying) it isn’t as much progress as I’d like to have made at this point.  And that feels pretty good, when I stop and think about it.

More Work Than I Remembered

I’ve been a little sporadic with getting back to my exercise routine. I’ve got good reasons, mind, but it’s been irregular.  And while anything’ vetter than nothing, it’s still not ideal.

But, I hit the exercise cards today!  Six of them!  And, boy. I’m out of shape again. Still, I did them. And this time, crazy life situations willing, I’ll get them done every day!

Once I, you know, catch my breath.

Rethinking Some Goals

So, I may have been a trifle overambitious with my goals. And that may have been a reaction to my lack of progress and to the last couple of months of stress while studying. I’d built up exercise in my head as that thing I was going to do when it was over, and I overplanned as a result.

With this on mind, I’m dropping the treadmill for a while. Getting up to a 15 (or even a 10) minute mile is still a longer-term goal, but it’s getting ahead of myself. First, I think, I need to get myself back to consistently hitting my regular walking and exercise goals. Then, after I’m doing that, I can add some more.

I thought I’d be upset with that decision. To tell the truth, when my wise and wonderful wife suggested it, I was upset. But, a day later, it makes sense.

I’m still going to take up running, though. Just… not right now.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to get frustrated

I weighed in at 314 pounds on Saturday.  Well, all right, somewhere between 313.8 and 314.4, because the scale kept flickering on that final “pound dot decimal” in a strange way.  But it seemed to settle on 314 exactly, which meant that I lost four pounds last week.  And that feels good, honestly.  Until I updated the little widget over on the right of this page, where I track my weekly progress.  And I saw this:

New Year Weight 2016 (1/1/2016): 339.2 lbs
New Year Weight 2017 (12/31/2016): 308.0 lbs

I have to be honest here:  it bothered me when I read that.  “Seriously?”, I thought.  “I’ve only made 15 pounds of progress in the last 18 months?”  And I really, really started to get down on myself.

And then I took a deep breath, and I stopped.  Because, sure.  I’ve only lost 15 pounds in the last 18 months, and that’s terribly frustrating.  But, at the same time, I’ve kept a hundred pounds off for over a year, despite distractions and stress and family drama and everything else that could possibly go wrong.  So, while I’m not where I want to be (yet), I’m certainly doing all right by myself.

Nonetheless, I want to do better.  And, to be honest, I think that’s become a stumbling block for me.  I want to do better so badly that I’m getting in my own way.  Under 300 has stopped being just the next goal for me, transforming into an unattainable holy grail that I approach but never reach.  I’m so obsessed on it that my failure to hit it has taken my mind off what I should be doing.

What is it I should be doing?

I should be focusing on my daily activities.  I should be working on hitting my calorie goals each day, and hitting my walking and exercise goals each day, and trusting that if I do that my weight and my health will take care of itself.  Easier said than done, right?  But really, I need to work on that more.

So, here I go!

It’s Super-Effective!

Way back in September of 2016, I started walking my Charizard buddy MacArthur in Pokemon Go.

A month (and 75 km) later, I’d evolved a different Charizard into this:

I specified that this was a different Charizard, because I like my little buddy MacArthur.  He was my starter Pokemon.  Oh, sure, I’d have evolved him if I never found another one, but I did (and it was stronger) so I evolved that one.  Sadly, I had to drop the game in November 2016, because my ancient iPhone 4S couldn’t hack it.  Right up until January 2017, when I got a new(er) phone and MacArthur and I got back to work!

Guess what?  We did it!  My Charmelion is now a Charmander!

What now?  Well, because my son really wants me to get a Raichu, it’s time to take my Pikachu J.J. out walking.

23 more kilometers should do the trick.  Pikachus are easier to mature than Charizards.