Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Denial Meets Reality

I have been avoiding this for a long time, as in my whole life. But it is time to face facts. I am a walker. I walk almost every day of my life. I walk at a fast pace over a reasonable distance that includes hills. But it isn't enough. Without strength training thrown into the mix I am a half-fit. (Yes, I made that word up.)

I have been aware of this fact for several years, which once again illustrates my adherence to the "no sense doing today what can be put off until tomorrow" life principle. And I have to say that listening to my friend's gym horror stories has not made me want to rush out and join a class any time soon (that would be you Ellen!). Besides, I am not a joiner.

Last week I came to grips with reality. I have not been able to successfully implement a weight/strength training program I can do at home. I have a perfect 100% fail record. Think kettle bells. So, acting against every instinct I possess, I have joined the YMCA. Well, that might be somewhat misleading. I should say I have enrolled for a one week free trial membership.

I have also just finished reading two books that talk about the importance of strength training, especially as one gets older. It boils down to this. If I want to still be walking, as opposed to using a walker, when I am in my seventies and eighties now is the time to do something about it. One of those books I can highly recommend - The Cure For Everything by Timothy Caulfield. Rather than me reinventing the wheel, I will link to this review over at Weighty Matters.

The other book is the one I mentioned in a post last week - Younger Next Year For Women. It is written by Chris Crowley, a retired lawyer, and Henry S. Lodge, a practicing physician. The chapters by Dr. Lodge are all fine - filled with useful information presented in a way that doesn't make you want to use bad language or pull your hair out strand by strand. On the other hand, the chapters by Chris Crowley, while sometimes containing nuggets of good information, were filled with sexist, derogatory and/or inappropriate references. Lest you think I exaggerate, here is a quote from one of his more egregious paragraphs. Warning: prepare to be offended.

"So what do you say about these places? They have quit pushing "supersize" portions. (So they do have some shame, after all) But the "large" portions are not a hell of a lot smaller (the large fries are a whopping 10 percent smaller than the old super size. Thanks a lot.) And they have created some salads. Great. But you don't go to a whorehouse for conversation and you don't go to McDonald's for salad. Most of us don't, anyhow. You can get conversation in a whorehouse, but that's not why you're there. If you want to stop eating crap, stay out of fast-food places. Period. Recovering alcoholics should stay out of bars, even though they sell ginger ale as well as whiskey. Big fat piggies who want to change their ways should stay out of fast-food places, even though they sell salad as well as Big Macs. Isn't that obvious? C'mon!"

I find it rather hard to give this book a hearty endorsement in spite of the fact it had some useful information.

So today found Alexandra and me at the Y. I was pretty nervous when I went in, but by the time we were finished I found myself thinking I just might be able to stick with this. The people were very friendly, and the facility is terrific. Of course, today was just the orientation. We'll see how tomorrow goes when I attempt my first ever gym class. I am hoping the new shoes will help.


If the shoes don't prove helpful I'm sure this will.





13 comments:

  1. Yikes! I couldn't bring myself to give Crowley any money or contribute to his sales count.

    Good luck with the lifting, I hope your experince at the Y continues to be positive.

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    1. If you change you mind his first book, called Younger Next Year, is aimed at men. :-) I have to say I was very impressed with the Y. I have never been in one before.

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  2. Darn it! I missed going to the gym this morning! That makes 5 years in a row.

    Way to go, Kristie!

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    1. You are funny! No sense ruining your perfect record!

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  3. I like the look of those shoes! They should be very motivating :). I was a high school phys. ed. dropout and to this day (40 years later) the thought of going to a gym gives me the heebie-jeebies. So that's why I work out at home. Did you have a look at the Body Electric website? Her programs are very approachable (and you don't have to drive anywhere or get changed in a locker room...) Whatever strength-training program you choose, I think you'll love the results. Good luck with the Y.

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    1. The Body Electric site looks good, but it isn't quite what I am looking for. Thanks for telling me about it though! Your experience with phys ed is why I think the whole program should be scrapped. I think it has put more people off exercise than it has ever motivated.

      Good for you for sticking with an exercise program at home! It takes way more willpower to keep going when you are on your own.

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  4. Oh I completely know where you're coming from. I am not an exerciser or a joiner. I walk and do a little yoga, with a bike ride here and there. I know I need to do something, statistics say women gain up to ten pounds a year after 40. While thankfully I haven't gained that much I've noticed a difference and 50 is closing in!
    So good luck with the Y or whatever you choose to do. I'll be cheering for you!

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    1. Weight gain isn't the only problem. It is deteriorating bones that scares me. That is what I am trying to avoid by doing the strength training. If I can stick with it!

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  5. Did the shoes help? ;) Congrats on trying out the gym! Funny thing is, I just signed up for Curves a few weeks ago, for the same reason..strength training. So far so good. What I like is I can go there and I know exactly what I have to do.. the routine takes about 1/2 hour. It's a friendly place..so far. :) I felt a little intimidated at first, but it's getting better. I also joined Dragonboating.. now THAT I love.. a good upper body workout, too!

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    1. That's great that you are trying Curves! One of the things that appealed to me about the Y is how close it is. I figured on snowy days next winter I would be more likely to drive there than on the Trans Canada to TRU or up to where Curves is located. We need to get together for tea/coffee so you can tell me about Dragonboating!

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    2. If you like being on the water and learning new skills and working with others in a friendly atmosphere, you'd enjoy dragonboating. We'll get together soon.:)

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  6. Oh geez, I almost wish I hadn't read this. If you're only half-fit, I'm not even a quarter-fit (see, I can make up words too). I walk a lot, but slowly while looking for birds. (Cough cough)

    I really need to get fit! I'm also concerned about my bones, as you say. Maybe if you keep writing about your great successes at the YMCA, I'll be motivated to get more active. You go girl, I have faith in you (in myself, not so much, LOL).
    Kim

    P.S. My post about Dexter aka Fergus is coming up in the next couple of days...

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    1. That's how I felt about the two books I mentioned - like I almost wished I hadn't read them! :-) But they were really only saying things I already knew.

      When you are birdwatching at least you are being active - that's a start!

      I'll be waiting for the post about Dexter. :-)

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