Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Progress: doing things by halves, with Snoopy

A blog post wherein our heroine evinces the giddy delirium oft experienced by those who first taste a faint whiff of success.
(Obligatory disclaimer: some metaphors were harmed in the making of this blog. People allergic to puns should not proceed with the reading of this post. Studies have shown that reading posts this silly can lead to dangerously low levels of common sense and practicality.)

I don’t usually like to do things by halves; indeed I had half a mind not to post this entry. But sometimes you just half to do things.*

Looking at my record of my daily weigh-ins for the week, I noticed that I gained 3.5 pounds and lost 4. In other words, I’ve lost ½ pound this week. Yay me, what a thrill, oh boy.

Then I did my weekly Taking of the Measurements and discovered I’d also lost a ½ inch around my waist and a ½ inch around my hips. WOO HOO!!!! (Bells, whistles, applause from the crowd, confetti descending from the heavens as our heroine does the Snoopy dance.)

This may seem like a trivial change, but to me it's the first real tangible sign that my body is changing. Numbers on a scale are just that: numbers. This is different, this is shape-changing. And not just losing weight, but losing it where I need to lose it.

To celebrate, I’m going to go read Half of Me and Half Fast. In addition to writing positive and funny blogs, they also don’t write half-assed posts like this one. (But who cares? Cue the Snoopy dance music again, boys!)

By the way, does anyone know how many calories are expended by doing the Snoopy dance?

*Wasn't kidding about the bad puns.


Theresa said...

Hey Mary, why isn't your blog listed over at the Grill? And is one of your workout videos the belly dance one you show? Belly dancing, one of my favorite types of fun exercizing.

And congrats on your progress!! Definitely pat yourself on the back.

I ran this morning for the first time in months and months. Well...hort bits of running around longer bits of walking. Must build back up slowly. For me it's all about headache management and avoiding pain meds. Nothing else really motivates me to get out there.

Go Mary!

The Merry said...

Hey Theresa!
I guess I should ask Bryan to put me on the list. I kind of like this idea of tracking my progress in public; makes me feel accountable. I hafta work out or face the prospect of telling the world that the Slug has conquered.
Yes, I've been using Rania's Fitness DVDs as part of my exercise routine. I used to buy exercise DVDs as a way of assuaging my conscience, telling it "See, I really am going to exercise. I bought an exercise DVD." Rania's fitness DVDs aren't really bellydancing, but she takes elements of raqs sharki and uses them in an aerobic workout. One DVD deals with hip drops and traveling steps, another concentrates on using shimmies to get an aerobic workout.
When I lose a bit more weight, I'm going to go find an instructor and do real bellydance again. I thought I would feel silly shaking my hips, but instead it was really fun. (I had a good instructor, thankfully.)
How does running help you avoid headaches? That's a topic I would love to hear about!

Anonymous said...

You've taken bellydancing too? Cool! Do you have a collection of hip scarves? They can be just as addicting as buying shoes.

Headaches. Kind of a long story, but to try to make it short, I've always had headaches, even as a kid. Tension, migraine, and some in between. At some point my body got addicted to ibuprofin, and I started getting rebound headaches too. I was in a bad way, and finally got help from a headache doctor who also sent me to a therapist who works with stressed-out, perfectionist, worry-warts (i.e., people like me) who have a lot of headaches.

After trying many thing that helped but not as much as they needed to, I decided to start running. (Yep, non-athletic me.) It was that or probably go on anti-anxiety drugs, which I wanted to avoid if at all possible. Regular aerobic exercise can be as effective as drugs for managing anxiety. And it was the only thing I really hadn't tried yet.

Why running? Actually, I got the idea from a Barbara Delinsky book, in which her heroine was an asma (sp?) suffer who taught herself to run in baby steps. I thought, "I can do that." I researched how to start running, and I started with running 30 sec, walking 4 1/2 min, repeat. And slowly built up to the point where I could run for 20 minutes. Something I never thought I could do.

Running is also good because I can take it anywhere, very little equipment. And I think there is something about the arm motion involved in running, that helps to work the tension out of my shoulders.

When I do everything right (regular sleep, no caffeine, running), I am virtually headache free. When I don't, I have weeks like a couple back, with a headache almost every day, several of them migraines. That was my latest motivator.

Agh! I just realized this comment is huge. I hope your regular exercise will get you what you're looking for, no need for thyroid drugs plus and even more fabulous you!

Keziah Fenton said...

I saw the most beautiful collection of hip scarves last week in Indiana when we took Bryan home. I had planned to pick the dark blue one up for myself but was distracted by other shiny stuff. I'm actively looking for someone who gives classes in this area. Bellydancing was one of the few forms of exercise to which I was faithful. Even my inner slugs enjoy it.

The Merry said...

I love it! I love the idea that you can control your body’s state of health by the decisions you make rather than the drugs you take. Instead of treating the symptom, you’re addressing the underlying cause – that’s wonderful. I do hope I can do the same with the exercise/thyroid balance.

And you’ve given me an idea. I’ve been afraid of running because I’ve seen so many people get addicted and then get injured. I’m not in any kind of shape for running – the knees simply wouldn’t go for it -- but I could jog for 30 seconds. That’s doable, and hopefully not addictive. Maybe in another 10 pounds, I should give that a try. A 10 minute walk from my work leads me to a jogging path that is secluded and full of trees & scenery. I’ve got no excuse not to try. I’ll add that to my change list.


I like to think that I have my hip scarf addiction completely under control. For the moment. So long as I don’t actually see any new hip scarves, everything’s just fine. ;)

Anonymous said...

Mary, The book that I really used when I started running is The Beginning Runners Handbook. They have a schedule in it for training from nothing up to being able to run a 10k race. I modified their schedule to suit me. I wasn't looking to run a 10k.

I kept my schedule on my fridge and gave myself a star everytime I ran. Yes, I have the mentality of a kindergardener.

I never got addicted to running. In fact, I've been away from it for a while (hello, headaches), so as I'm trying to get running again, I'm starting off very slowly. When I "ran" this week, it was for 21 minutes in intervals of 1 minute running, 2 minutes walking. But I know that I can do it, because I did it before. That's a powerful feeling.

It's true that how I feel from day to day is very directly linked to how well I take care of myself. When slip, it's like a literal kick in the head. Willpower is not one of my strengths, unfortunately, so I get kicked in the head much more often than I'd like. My body is so unforgiving.

But like I said, it can be done! I am totally cheering for you! Go Mary! Go Mary!

The Merry said...

Thanks Theresa -- and go you too! I'm going to go check out that running book, but I like your schedule because it sounds so simple.
Just have to find where I packed those running shoes...