Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Back to the Gym

gym maui0152Doesn’t she look sweet? Nice?

Don’t believe it. Kristin’s my personal trainer while I’m here in Maui, and she’s wicked hard on me.

A personal trainer? Maui? Whaaa….? I know. It’s a surprise to me, too.

I quit going to gyms years ago because I couldn’t stand the steroid egos and butt floss. I’m at a fitness center this week only because the owners of The Gym Maui brought me here to Kihei to photograph their facility and their people. It’s a tough business, being flown to exotic locations, but I’m a trooper. And it turns out, now I’m a convert. This place is SO DIFFERENT from what I remembered back in the 90’s – it’s clean (no sweaty sock smell), friendly, and egos are kept firmly in check.

I’m going to look at local gyms when I get home. Me. In a gym. Hah! It’s the end of the world as we know it….

Meanwhile, Kristin has given me exercises I can do at home. Don’t be fooled by the lack of equipment. This workout got my heart rate up, and I definitely felt it the next day!

If you’re going to try this, be sure to consult a fitness specialist first. YOUR FORM NEEDS TO BE CORRECT. Back injuries put a crimp in any exercise program. 🙂

Kristin’s Workout for Chubby, Out-Of-Shape Women

(No, she didn’t call it this, and I’m sure she’d be horrified. But if I don’t mock myself, who will? Oh, put your hands down.)

Three reps of:

  1. Squats. (Really, REALLY important to get instruction the first time. These are easy to do wrong.) 15x.
  2. Tricep dips (using a bench, step or chair.) 15x.
  3. Step-ups. 10-15x each side.

When we’d finished the first rep, I thought, “OK, that was a nice workout.” Then she asked me to repeat it. And again. By the time I huffed my way to a finish, I thought, “OK, now THAT was a nice workout.” Then we moved on to floor work. Oh, dear.

Three reps of:

  1. Negative push-ups. (For those of us who are too weak to complete a push-up. You lower yourself slowly to the floor, then get on your knees, rise to correct position, and try again.) 10x.
  2. Triangle push-ups. (Put your hands together to form a triangle, and then pulse, short up-and-downs.) 10x.
  3. Try regular pushups AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible. I can do exactly zero right now.)

Three reps of:

  1. Crunches 15-20x.
  2. Crunches with feet elevated 15x20x.
  3. Alternating superman (lay on stomach, lift alternating arms and legs.) 15x.
  4. Plank (I thought, “Oh, good. I’ve got this one down.” As soon as she saw that, she added:) with alternating leg lifts.

Collapse and whimper.


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The Simple Act of Waiting

_DSC9723I’m in Paradise. I landed last night, but it was dark and late (1 am) in my ‘native’ timezone. I awoke this morning to foreign bird call. Peering out the window, I see color! In Oregon, only the earliest flowers are in bloom – modest daffodils and daphne. But here in Maui, I am treated to deep color and lush foliage. Even the air is exotic – pungent and humid. I haven’t left my apartment yet. I’m drinking my first cup of coffee and enjoying the anticipation.

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting” ― Andy Warhol

I’m the girl who never wants to know her gifts in advance, who neither peeks nor shakes. There’s such EXCITEMENT in expectant waiting. My latest camera was purchased without the benefit of anticipation because my previous, duct-taped camera staggered to an unexpected halt (the camera was DUCT-TAPED together, Cherie. How unexpected could its demise be?) at the very start of a two-week photo shoot. I had to cancel the rest of the day’s photography and rush to the nearest camera store to buy a replacement. Not only were the ‘salesmen’ (read: techies with no social skills) rude, but I didn’t get to anticipate. I still haven’t gotten over the disappointment.

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” ― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

For some people, imaginative speculation brings anxiety and dread. For others, it is its own reward, and they never move forward into actualization. But I use it to heighten the joy of fulfillment. It’s like holding off an orgasm for just a few more moments. When the release comes, it’s deeper, broader. It’s more fun.

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

OK. I’ve titillated myself enough. Time to venture out!

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Headed for Hawaii

DSCF2264“Cherie, I need your help!” A dear client – who now lives in Maui – called me last week. She had photography needs, which she planned to attempt herself. She wanted me to provide long-distance guidance.  Being the altruistic person that I am, I suggested an alternative. Why didn’t she just fly me over there to provide direct services, saving her time and frustration?  She was delighted with the idea, so tomorrow I take off for sunny Maui.

That’s wonderful, right? Except that I’m still 18 pounds overweight. I’m EMBARRASSED to be seen in scanty clothing, and besides, my summer clothes don’t fit.

Beware Cherie the beluga whale, flesh acquivering as she saunters over the sands! Avert your eyes, children dear, lest ye be scarred for life!

I know, I know. How idiotic can I be? But I have to admit, after my initial delight, that was my next reaction.

I assessed my current clothing options. I had a bathing suit. It was two decades old, but it was one-piece and black. With a pair of exercise shorts, I would feel…covered. I had plenty of tank tops. I had a nice skirt. All I really needed to round out the ensemble was a pair of shorts.

So, yesterday I went downtown. I have to tell you, even at ideal weight, clothing shopping ranks WAY DOWN on my list of pleasurable activities. I hate shopping. I’d rather be reading a book. (OK, that’s not fair. “I’d rather be reading a book” is a very difficult mark to best. It was the standard during my dating days, which explains why I had two-hundred-and-forty-seven first dates and only three second dates.)

It was SO depressing. I started at Ross Dress for Less (newly opened, their signs have defaced the elegant brick buildings of the downtown mall. Shows what money can buy. It’s the only explanation for these cheap, plastic white and blue billboard-size monstrosities. Note: the same downtown governing board had a hissy fit few years ago when a small business tinted their windows too dark, because THAT didn’t conform with the aesthetics of their downtown vision) and then visited Kohl’s. Everything I tried on confirmed my fears – watch out for Cherie the Beluga Whale!

I went to Nordstrom. No, I wasn’t going to pay $112 for clothing I hoped would be too large by May. At Macy’s, I finally found shorts that didn’t cause my muffin top to expand as though it were being baked at high altitude. I liked them well enough to wear them out of the store, even though the saleswoman looked critically at me and asked, “Did you try a smaller size?”

No. Leave me alone. I feel comfortable. I feel attractive. I feel, for a change, like I’m not being squeezed in two.

Hawaii, here I come!

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