Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Literally fighting fat

Today's workout might be the first of all of them that I'd actually deem fun.   It definitely would've been the better choice to burn off steam yesterday.  Partially because it's all cardio and partially because I had to concentrate so much I couldn't think of anything else ;)

Why is that?  Well today's workout was MMX.  Which I assume is a take-off of mixed martial arts that randomly needed an X worked in.  However, as with yoga and pilates, it relies on a previous knowledge of the movements.  Which I don't have.   In pilates, I know the movements, so that was no problem.  In yoga, everything moves so slowly even not knowing wasn't much of  a challenge to catch up.   But in MMX, there are more moves and they're *fast*.  As in don't blink.  And I blinked.  Several times *sigh*

So essentially I did about a third of the workout.  Not cause it was exhausting, but because I spent the first third of every movement trying to figure out even vaguely what they were doing.   I knew I wasn't keeping up when I wasn't exhausted at the first break.  BUT - not once did I find myself looking at the clock.  Every instant was spent either trying to analyse what they were doing or trying to replicate it.  hahaha oh dear.  I'd catch my reflection in the window and realize what I was doing - while it felt all kinds of impressive - did not, in fact, look even remotely like what they were doing on TV.  Except the elbow jab.  Apparently my elbows are coordinated?  So random.

Take-aways from today:
- in a fight, the only way the other guy is going to be injured is by accident *sigh*   Perhaps when I'm actually living in one house, some form of self-defense course would be worthwhile...  Sheesh.  Or a more structured version of this even.  That could be fun :)
- I find exercising way more entertaining when I have to fully focus on what I'm doing.  I actually knew this, but it's been a very long time since it's happened so was fun to see it's still in play.  Step aerobics is the last time I remember doing that and that was in uni.
- I am going to be very sore in new and unusual muscles tomorrow.   Just stood up and realized how tight I already am just from sitting here typing this.  Oh dear.
- It may, in fact, be possible to punch yourself in the face.  For the record this didn't actually happen, but it might've come closer to happening than I was actually comfortable with ;)

So yeah -- I'm not sure anything I did even vaguely resembled what I was supposed to be doing, but even with breaks to figure out what was going on, but the end I was all kinds of sweaty and now I'm feeling new muscles, so we're going with it works.  And it kept me entertained.

Tony's advice of the day: "Don't smash your face."

They say when you don't know where to start, you should start at the beginning.    So our whole universe was in a hot dense state.  Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started.  Wait.  Too early?   Okay, well fast forward to this morning then...

So those who read this blog with any regularity (thanks btw -- I'm always rather thrilled and amazed that anybody other than my mom and my husband read this ;).  Anyways -- those of you will be aware that I've committed to completing the P90X3 program.  And I discovered very early in that the only way I would actually manage to complete the exercise every day was if I did it first thing in the morning.  If I wait till I get home from work I'm either A, exhausted, or B, have somewhere else to go.  Not the world's best plan.  Alright, so have to work out first thing.

That being said, this morning I knew I was going to have to leave work early.  But work is fairly entertaining at the moment -- by which I mean I'm slightly insanely busy -- and things that need to get done don't end early simply because I want them to.  The nerve.  End result being I needed to go in early.  But well, I'm just not a morning person.  And getting up an extra 45-60 mins early to work out is ridiculous enough.  Adding another hour (which, do the math, means 4:30 am) to get to work early is just not going to happen.   Ever.  Okay well it's Wednesday.  This is good.  The reason this is good is that Wednesday is yoga day -- the only day in which I can potentially have just as effective workout exhausted as fresh.  Usually Chris and I go out for dinner on Wed night, but I deemed that even if I didn't get home till 9 and had just eaten, I could still handle yoga.  

So skipped Tony -- despite the fact that it was one of those days I could really *use* yoga.  After Triometrics and The Warrior, my quads were pretty much on strike when I got up.  But sobeit.  Fast-forward through work which was crazy but productive to the eye clinic which was the reason I had to leave early.  No emergency thankfully, just a scheduled check up.   A little bit of a pain because now it's winter.  So I'm trying to juggle my work bag, my wallet, and my huge puffy winter jacket (cause, well, I don't like cold.  And I deem everything under about 25 - that'd be celsius people - to be cold) on this tiny little seat in an absolutely packed waiting room.  Fun.  

Eventually I make it in and ask the doctor about the fact that my eye is still red, often sore, and the pupil is still dilated (I'm now 2.5 months since finishing dilating drops).   The eye is inflamed and the pupil is squished up against the fake lens.  Awesome.  Fortunately this is apparently a non issue -- back on steroid eye drops and should see noticeable difference within a few days.  Don't have a ton of hope for that re pupil size since it's the same drugs I was on before, but hopefully will help w at least the red eye.

Alright so then the rest of the check-up.  He didn't quite believe the results of my vision test (an assistant of some sort does that earlier) so he had me redo that.  Apparently my vision has actually improved in that eye.  Woohoo!  Now just to put this in perspective, you know the giant E at the top of the eye chart?  Yeah -- that's the one I could read.   I *thought* I could read that one last time too, but it was really clear this time.  And I could see shapes on the second line, but my guess at the letter was wrong.   Okay -- pleasant surprise as that really isn't likely to get better till the oil is removed.  Strong start.  Should've quit while we were ahead.

Yup, turns out there's more scar tissue.  "That shouldn't even be possible with this oil in your eye."  Great.  I am honestly *so* tired of being the exception to everything eye related.   Apparently I'm too young and too healthy so my body is being overly efficient at healing itself.  I honestly never thought young and healthy would have negative consequences when it came to healing.  Especially when I'm feeling particularly old wrt getting back in shape.  Sheesh.  He explained that they would probably need to do surgery to remove it but wanted to consult with the surgeon.

I was not a happy person at that point.  My brain has mostly gotten used to the fact that everything in that eye is blurry.  I hardly notice it now except in low light or if something blocks part of my vision from the good eye (sitting in an audience, if the person in front of me moves slightly, I lose the picture entirely.  One of those things you never think of when your eyes work properly together).  I still have real issues with the lack of peripheral vision.  It's a pretty serious detriment in that I forget I can't see there so I have no idea what's going on beside me.  Not so bad when driving because I'm hyper aware then, but walking down a crowded street, or navigating public transit is a whole lot less fun now.  So thinking that I'm going to have to start all over again now -- when I'm 1/3 of the way through P90X3, and really busy at work, was just not something I wanted to consider.   Not, tbh, that I'd have any choice *sigh*

So the surgeon comes in and looks and deems that while it does need to be surgically removed, it can wait till they do the surgery to remove the oil.  And he wants the oil to stay there for at least another three months.  So barring any changes, we wait till then.   Of course I'm a little concerned in that each of the other times my retina detached, it was the peripheral vision that went first.  Since I no longer have said peripheral vision, I'll have even less warning if it does detach :(

Climb on the train to go home and tbh at this point all the stresses pretty well combined.   Not being able to sell the house, having to relocate every weekend and the resulting inability to get anything accomplished, busy at work, worried about my vision, not able to ride...   Everything all kinda squished into one.  Went home exhausted and headachy and just slightly angry at the world.   When I'm really upset about something and don't have the barn to retreat through, somewhere along the way I learned that exercise was an okay way of rebalancing things.  Never as good as an amazing ride or even just a grooming session with my favourite pony.  But an okay substitute.  

However it needs to be real exercise.  Yoga simply isn't going to cut it.   So I looked ahead during the week.   The Incinerator sounded like it might work.  Technically it's not till Friday, but it does use the pull up bar, and, well, I have this handy-dandy new pull up bar...   So...   I deemed yoga could wait till Friday and did a quick switch.

So this might be my favourite one yet.  Entirely arms/shoulders/back, it's all about pairing sets of exercises to completely exhaust yourself.  Uses weights and a pull up bar -- either of which can use a resistance band instead.  And part of what I really liked is it's quantitative -- you're encouraged to record what weights you're using and how many reps you're doing to compare over future weeks.

Now they tended to alternate between "do 10 reps" and "do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds".   Except I kept forgetting the 10 part and trying to do as many as possible.  Thinking that wasn't the best idea.  And there are a few exercises I'll watch a little more carefully next time just to make sure I have the right grip as the slightest change seems to effect which muscle is worked.   You're supposed to select weights accordingly and certainly the bigger guys were mixing it up on the screen.  But I used my massive  5 lbs weights for all of the exercises ;)   And only two did I find too easy at that -- they can move up to 10 next time (cause, well, those are the only two options I have ;)  I do expect my arms and shoulders will be rather sore tomorrow.  Esp as this is really the first day in the program that's actually focused on them.

As to the pull up bar.  I could get almost half-way to a chin up.  And only an inch or so into a pull up.  Yeah.  Sadly I'm not exaggerating.  And the instruction is "as many as you can with good form in 30 seconds".  Right.  So that would be zero.  Way to set the bar low ;-P   And even my fractional ones I could only do about 5 of.  I see all kinds of opportunities for improvement!   hahaha I do have a resistance band, so depending on the day may hook that to the bar as I suspect may be more successful.  But I'd like to be able to do one.  Just one.  It's been a back-of-the-mind goal since the last gym membership I had...   So we'll see.  Still eight weeks to go.

I have noted that this routine if you don't randomly sub it in for yoga day, is followed by CVX.  That's the weight/aerobics combo.   That's all kinds of cruel.  But potentially effective.  

Anyways, so workout was good from a new exercises point of view, but it didn't have the burn-off-frustration aspect I was looking for.  In hindsight, I should've picked tomorrow's MMX.  Mostly because I'm pretty sure it's all cardio fighting imaginary monsters.  But hey -- wanting to play with my new toy got me off the couch and that's what counts.   However, since I was still a pretty unhappy person, I decided I'd go for a run to the drug store to pick up my perscription.  New lulu lemon pants (hey - my legs and butt are starting to look like they've done some work.  It's fair :) and a big baggy sweatshirt (partially cause I was still in cold and grumpy mode) and out I went.  

The run there, albeit short, was actually really good.  And helped restructure my mood.  Alas, sweatshirts are actually the worst thing ever to work out in.  Not only do you sweat, but the little beads of sweat attach themselves to the inside of the sweat shirt.  Which kicked in as soon as I walked into the heated pharmacy and made for a long cold walk home.  Ugh.   Ah well -- the only real task of the day was accomplished, so that's what counts.  And I got my 10000 steps.  hahaha

For those of you with fitbits -- have you noticed any serious inaccuracies since the latest update?   I'm getting about the same amount of steps I expect, but where it used to often miss flights of stairs I did, now it's giving me ridiculous numbers.  It said I did 211 flights today!  Ummm no.  Although at one point it listed 422, so 211 is certainly more reasonable *g*  And 95 of those were on the walk from my office to the eye clinic.   Have you been to Toronto?  It's flat.  Very flat.  And it's all of about a half-hour walk with a lunch stop.  There's no way I did 95 flights of stairs in half an hour period.  And the new exercise feature which I actually love in theory is a little iffy on what it chooses to record.  But that's okay cause my handy calendar tells me about each day's workout.

Have a super early and super long day tomorrow before trying MMX for the first time.  Might be a challenge.  Or might get yoga subbed in and MMX bumped to Fri where I have a much more normal day :)   Oh so very many options.   We shall see...

I really think that tossing and turning at night should be considered exercise.

"Day 1 is Triometrics.  All balance and work in the legs.  You got this!"

Right.  It turns out even your good friends feel the need to lie to you occasionally ;-P   Thanks Nicole.

So, as you may have guessed, it was a new video today.  And Nicole's assessment was correct -- it is indeed all balance and legs.   ALL balance and legs.  Translate that to essentially a half-hour of squats, chair sits, and a lovely combo of both.  On one leg.

My balance is pretty solid so that one wasn't as much of an issue, although I could see how it easily could be.  But while I thought my leg strength was also pretty good, I got thoroughly schooled :(   And just like the very first day of this adventure, walking down the stairs afterwards was an iffy proposition.  Squats, that is, normal squats, I can do pretty much forever.  Some of these variants though...  Oh dear.  And combining squats with push-ups is just evil.  Pure evil.

Now the way this works is simple.  Each exercise runs for about a minute, with three progressively more challenging variations.  Read that again.  Progressively *more* challenging.  As in it starts out hard, 20 seconds later as your muscles are fatiguing it gets harder.  Then when you're seriously considering that falling over just might be the ideal solution to this situation, it becomes more intense.  Awesome.

hmmm in related news -- did Pilates X for the first time last week.  It was okay in that it's definitely a decent ab workout in 1/2h, but tbh it was nowhere near as intense as Christine's pliates classes. Christine being an amazing pilates coach I learned from a few years ago.   I imagine it's actually the same for all the activities -- but I've little to no experience in any of the others, so for them I've no comparison.

I'm a little concerned about the rest of the week.   Given the focus on legs this half of the week, I suspect the later half of the week will be arms.  You know, those spaghetti-like appendages that have zero strength?  Right.  I just might be in trouble.  Esp as I heard rumour of chin ups...

As for how things are going -- still eating more than normal (although trying to be healthier in my choices).  I feel both my strength and cardio getting better, but was very disappointed when none of the measurements had changed after the first month :(   Booo.   Try harder for month two and see what happens.   I do like the change-up of the videos though; just as I was starting to get bored, they've changed.  And conveniently kept the ones I liked most and ditched the couple I really didn't like :)   That being said, I suspect they've been replaced with more challenging ones, so we shall see.

And tomorrow is the Warrior...   Using legs that trembled walking down the stairs.  Oh dear.

Don’t put 'banana' and 'hammock' in the same sentence.

Dynamix day today in my P90X3 adventures.  Now every Sunday has an option of Dynamix or Rest.  I am, in fact, a reasonably intelligent human being (stop laughing or I'll send my winged monkeys after you!)

Ah  hem, back to my story.  Suffice to say, given the option of rest in the midst of an intensive exercise program, I will generally pick rest.  Or at least, do some non-P90X related activity.  So today was my first experience with Dynamix.  Given that it's counterpart is rest, I foolishly thought it'd be easy stretching or something.

Right.  About that.  My shoulders and neck are *screaming* at me.   And have been since about 6h after completing.  Kinda dreading tomorrow...   Now, tbh, it is in-fact the easiest workout.  The premise is pretty much that you're constantly moving and the goal is to increase that range of movement.  But you're not moving particularly quickly and all the moves are on 30 second intervals (which after all week of 45 intervals, 30 is pretty friendly).  End result being I was *way* more successful than I usually am.   Especially as it was done after isometrics yesterday so my muscles weren't even toasted to begin with.

Only thing that really hurts is the neck and shoulders.   Don't recall stressing them but definitely did something.... Ow.

Oh and the title?   Just a random statement from today's video that I thought deserved a shout out ;)

Slow progress is still progress. Right?

Continuing the P90X3 saga -- I always figured the 3 was because it was the third version of P90X, but now I'm rethinking that.  The three is really a warning about week three.   For reasons I don't entirely understand, this week has been SO hard as far as motivation goes.   Proud to say I did, in fact, do every day.  But I had to fight for it.  Really glad for the printout of that schedule.  Getting all the way through and having one day not crossed off would be very difficult for my little type A brain to deal with.  Easier to suck it up and do the workout.

Even a bad workout is better than none, right?
Once I actually got moving, the workouts were actually pretty good this week.   I'm able to do at least some version of all of the movements now.   Well almost.  There are two that are still entirely beyond me.  The crow, which let's see...  Hands on the floor, elbows bent at a little over 90 degrees, rest knees on forearms and hold your balance.  It looks almost as though you were trying some awkward manner of getting into a headstand position, except that your head isn't on the ground and you never straighten your legs.   Oh, and then hang out there for 45 seconds or so...

This one I may get someday but hasn't happened yet...
And then there's the standing splits which are simply never going to happen.  But barring those two I can complete some variation of all the workouts now.  I'm still super sore after pretty much every one, but now I'm completing them.  So that's all good.   But the motivation to actually *do* them -- way more of a battle this week than previously.   Next week is a new schedule though, and theoretically a "rest" week -- although all the same videos, so not sure how much of a rest that'll be ;)

Overall -- strength and endurance, particularly in my legs, is noticeably better than it was.   My cardio has also improved.   Abs and arm strength are slower to develop.  Abs, I think, because most of the core workouts also require arms and my arms being much weaker give out before the abs really get worked out.  Fail.  So I'm supplementing sit ups and other fun things on random days.

Weight, despite improved diet and all the workouts, has not moved at all.  At least I'm not gaining, but not losing either :(   Big booooo on that.   I will never be one to eat well, but when I make a reasonable effort, I'd really like to see at least *some* results.  Measurements I don't know yet -- supposed to do those again at the end of next week.  Not sure how reliable it'll be as I didn't tattoo exactly where I took them the first time, and it'd make a difference.  But I did bookmark the site I got the instructions from so I'll follow them again and see if any change.

Neither hungry nor exhausted all the time this week though so that's good.  Still sore more often than not, but surviving.

One new video next week and a whole bunch the following week.  Wish me luck!

I say "Morning" instead of "Good Morning" because if it were a good morning, I'd still be asleep.

Yup, so that’s pretty much how this week has been.   I’m not nearly as exhausted as I was last week (although still sleeping more than normal life).  But hungry. So hungry.  All. The. Time.   I could legit adopt the hobbit meal plan and *still* be snacking between meals.   Yesterday I managed to use all my allotted calories by lunch.  Today?  Well slightly better, but there aren’t actually enough left for dinner – unless dinner is a grape or two.  And, well, refer to the top of the post.  Suffice to say a grape or two is not going to cut it.

But other than that – my body seems to have acclimatized to the first-thing-in-the-morning wake up or else situation.  While I certainly can’t suddenly keep up with the tv people, I’m able to do quantifiably more than I could last week.   Which is cool cause I actually expected, given a week of exhaustion, to be able to do *less* this week.  The people in the video on Saturday are Lauren and Chris.  That made me laugh – although it’s a little disconcerting when the TV says “Lauren lower your shoulders” and my shoulders are, in fact, up around my ears.  Or any number of other comments.  

Overall Monday, Accelerator day, is %100 my least favourite day, while Thursday, CVX day is the one I enjoy most.  Ironically it’s also the one I feel the most the next few days – but hey, at least it’s not horribly brutal while I’m doing it.  

Side note – high jumps with your arms straight up in a room with a ceiling fan is a bad idea.  Just in case you were considering it.

This morning after work-out but before leaving the house, I made the mistake of sitting on my bed.  And I wasn’t terribly convinced I could get back up again.  Or even wanted to.   Was seriously wishing calling to work “P90X’d” was a legitimate reason to stay home ;)   But alas it is not, so I dragged my sorry ass out the door and caught the train 6 minutes after the one I usually take.   Why is this relevant?  Well because I usually take a train that’s express from Oakville to Union, but this one was a local.  Generally I’ll skip a local and wait for the next express because even though it leaves later it’ll get in earlier, but I *really* didn’t want to have to stand – either on the platform or on a packed train.   So I let my exhausted self flop into a seat and zoned out.

But after a couple stops, I became aware of a woman standing in the area reserved for wheel chairs.  This in itself is not particularly interesting.   There were no wheelchairs in need of the spot and people often stand there.   What was unusual is that with her was a goat.  I am not even kidding.  His name is Turbo and he was on his way to the Royal.  Hahaha the randomness of it totally and completely made my day.  And yes I took a pic, cause, well, I was pretty sure it’d never happen again ;)   Now I realize he is, in fact, a marketing gimmick.  But it still amused me to no end.

I love that he’s looking out the window.