Dr. Fatbody (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the gym)

Thanks to all who agreed I’m most likely retaining water: we were all right, as the scale is headed back in the right direction. Still not as low as I’d like, but let’s face it: if I woke up tomorrow at 124 lbs, I’d have a lot of saggy, drippy flesh. And nobody wants that. šŸ™‚ I suspect this will continue, seeing as how I’m now adding weight training to my regimen, and I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that sedentary bodies tend to retain water when they start stressing themselves by lifting weights. But as long as I keep making progress on my cardio – and assuming I actually show improvement in weight training – and as long as I keep eating according to plan, I’m going to try and not worry too much if the numbers don’t go down a lot. Because eventually, if I keep doing what I’m doing, they will. They have to.

So, yesterday I went off to the gym. I’d bought a family membership to our local community fitness center for us for Christmas.

I started at the weight room. Mistress Krista, who is, like, the goddess of all things weight-training related, has set out some guidelines for us big girls who want to start weight training. Because she rocks.

I started with squats. As Krista instructs, I’m starting with just working on getting the form right, by using the vertical on a Smith machine to provide some balance and stability. (And an assist for my creaky knees, until I get the muscle memory working in my favor.)

Then, I hit the lat pulldown, the bench press, dumbbell press, dumbbell row, calf raises, and ab crunches. And then I hit the pool for 30 minutes of light cardio (at least, that was the plan; read on).

So, how did I measure up? Let’s just say that I am, in fact, weak like chicken and not strong like bull. Which is a mite bit depressing, but I’m a newb, and I’ve been a couch potato most of my adult life, so I suppose it’s not a surprise. šŸ™‚

To the numbers (remember, I’m just at this point trying to figure out what weight to start with):

Squats: 1 set of 10, using the bar for balance and stability.

Lat Pulldown: 1 set of 12 @48 lbs; 1 set of 12 @60 lbs; 1 set of 12 @72 lbs.

Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 @20 lbs. Good gravy, I’m a wimp.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 2 sets of 12 @20 lbs. Bad juju? I hear a vague crunchy noise in my left shoulder when I do these, but no discomfort. Odd. Not sure if I should do them or not. Am unwilling to go to sports physician for fear of being laughed out of the office.

Dumbbell row: 1 set of 10 @10 lbs. Not sure if I have the form right, and there’s no cable rowing machine. ARGH!

Wanted to do calf raises, but there’s no machine. What to do??? I used a Reebok step. But it did not feel stable at all. Am open to suggestions for what to do instead.

Ab crunches (no, not inclined. have you looked at me?): 1 set of 20

And then, I went to the pool and swam for a half-hour. Now, the pool is a competition-sized pool, so it’s 25 yards from one end to the other. I did nine complete laps in 30 minutes, stopping at each end to suck wind like I was dying. As good as I feel about my progress on the bike? That’s how shitty I feel about my swimming. It wore. ME. OUT. So, let’s do the math: nine laps @ 50 yards = 450 yards = 1,350 feet = one quarter-mile.

Oh my Gods, I’m a pussy!

To make matters worse, there was a fella in the next lane who was kicking my ass. He was at least 65. It didn’t bother me at first, seeing as how he was riding a boogie board and had fins on his feet. But then he got rid of the board and the fins, put on the goggles, and just swam. And he smoked me. Fucker.

On the bright side, I have a baseline now. And in the interest of not overdoing, I’ll be exercise biking (or some other cardio activity) hard five days each week, and weight training (with a swim) the other two. Hopefully, the same beginner gains I saw with cardio will show themselves in weight training as well.

But here’s the big question: how the hell do I find a personal trainer? I’m thinking it would be a good idea to have a few sessions just to make sure I’ve got the form thing down, but the interwebs are no help at all. Evidently, “personal trainer” is a popular SEO term, and so there are fifty gazillion pages – with zero relevance.


By the time I went to bed last night, I was certain that I would wake up this morning completely unable to move. But thankfully, I was wrong. Yes, I’m a bit sore (my thighs and my hip flexors are particularly cranky), but it’s the good kind of sore you get from working your ass, rather than the bad kind of sore that sends you to the ER.

I’ll be hitting the bike later today, because I want to loosen up and ease the stiffness before I push it. But push it, I shall.

Have a great Sunday!


2 responses to “Dr. Fatbody (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the gym)

  1. I think you are doing great!!! It’s a big shock to the system when you start weight training. And it’s TOUGH. Especially the first week and second week. I have no idea how I got through, but I did. And I’m glad I did. So hang in there and in a month you’ll realize you’re really not a pussy. LOL

    • Well, I really am a pussy. But not for long. šŸ™‚ I know too much about how beneficial weight training is, so I won’t give up. Even if the macho men and the fully made-up and jewelry-laden bimbi (plural for bimbo, doncha know) think I look like a weenie.

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