Talk About Obsessive!

I have finished writing all 30 workouts for my 30 day HIIT challenge! They mostly fall in the 40 minute range with a 15 second rest between exercises. I am not sure if I am going to stick with a 15 second rest, a 10 second rest is traditional. When working in a small space it is impossible to set everything up in advance, it just gets in the way so I have to take things out and put them back in that time window which is a pain. Some exercises are easy to transition between but others require you to get up and down and switch out equipment. I don’t want the rest to be so long that the heart rate goes down but at the same time I hate when I am late to start or have to pause/rewind the video. The first 10 days are 30 second intervals, the 2nd 10 days are 40 second intervals, the final 10 days are 50 second intervals.

Sam has also finished creating a simple HIIT timer. I still have to test out the workouts to see if they are manageable. It is not easy to gauge the difficulty of a workout on paper. It will take several months to test them all out. I may actually film them as I do them and forego rehearsals altogether. I tried to make the workouts as fun as possible while still including a few of my own personal Achilles’s heels. I believe the difficulty is beginner/intermediate. I wanted to create something accessible but challenging. I am planning on filming previews for all 30 workouts so I can demonstrate the moves more consciously and offer suggestions for modifications. I use equipment in the workouts but I wanted to offer modifications for those who do not have equipment. I really wanted the no equipment modifications to be as challenging as the weighted versions. That is not easy to achieve for every exercise but that’s the goal! I also want to present low impact options baring in mind that some people have joint issues and baring in mind that some people have noise restrictions.

I attempted to film the preview for the first workout. The filming didn’t go great. I am a lot shyer than I expected lol See I know what I want to say and what I want to achieve with this but when the camera is on I just sort of blank out. I was hyperventilating before I even started moving around! It wasn’t the exercises themselves that were giving me trouble it was the socializing with the camera. I am also going to have to film in a larger room which means dragging all my equipment upstairs. I prefer being headless in a video but you can’t see what I am doing above the shoulders when standing, so the yoga room is a no go. I haven’t decided what I will do if I ever successfully manage to film these previews. I haven’t decided if I will film a full length workout video. The draw of a full length video is having the benefit of a carefully constructed routine (the preview would give access to the full routine) and the entertainment value of an engaging trainer. My social anxiety covers up much of my personality. Could be that after filming 30 previews I will loosen up. Could be that I just AM painfully awkward!

Funny when I did the test for my Pilate’s certification I was less awkward than I am alone in a room lol I mean I have taught real life classes with real life people why is this camera thing so uncomfortable?

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Random Happenings

I have written 15 workouts so far. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I have done a tremendous amount of work on the other I have to do the same amount of work again if not more. I am too tired to even contemplate a run through or a sneak peak at the moment.

 

I went to the doctor today to have my moles looked at. Just a general check there was nothing particular about any of them. I have never had my moles looked at before but I read recently that faired-skinned people with freckles and reddish hair have a 50% chance of getting skin cancer. I definitely tick all the boxes for the high-risk category. I wear sunscreen and avoid peak hours whenever possible but still it just seemed responsible somehow. He said they all looked fine and asked me if I wanted to remove one on my back. Most of my moles are pretty small and inconspicuous but I did have a surface mole on my back that was larger. I have always hated this mole because its ugly and it is prone to accidents so naturally I said yes! The process was very easy actually and took no time at all. He gave me local anesthetic which felt like a small needle going into the skin no big deal. I didn’t feel anything when he removed the mole and it only took a few seconds. I do, however, feel a bit queasy from the anesthetic.

 

After my appointment I decided to get lunch because I was hungry and figured it might help things settle. I had a vegetarian lasagna at a cute little cafe and it was delicious! I never think about eating alone until hours after the fact. When I am in the restaurant I am hungry and nothing else seems to register to my brain, I don’t even see the other customers. I probably wouldn’t even see them if they sat down and had a conversation with me. I know some people hate eating alone and they would never do so in public but eating alone is well eating and I love eating lol

 

Tides of Numenera arrived in the mail yesterday. I have been waiting for 3 years and now it is here! I have played the Beta but still this is very exciting news for me, who seems to be in desperate need of a nap. The mailman managed to fit this rather large package into our mailbox. I spend quite a lot of time trying to figure out how to remove packages from our mailbox, packages that are very nearly the same size as the mailbox itself. We have a standard Swedish mailbox the type you see outside of the city but the mailman recently suggested to my husband that we should buy a larger mailbox. I can just see us with a mailbox the size of a refrigerator and our mailman carefully folding sofas into it.

30 HIIT Routines

I have been working on a project which is extremely time-consuming. When I changed my workout schedule I quickly realized how difficult it was to find workouts that focused on the back. So I designed 6 workouts for myself. A lot of research was involved. Anyhow then it came to my attention that my favorite free online HIIT trainer seems to be gradually moving toward a paid site. Unfortunately I can’t afford to purchase the workouts. She has a 30-Day program that I absolutely love but there is a good chance that the program will eventually be removed from Youtube and moved to the paysite. Anyhow the 30-Day program doesn’t have 30 workouts. There are rest days and there are a lot repeats at the end. I always found it quite sad that the end of the program just repeats the beginning. The program states that the workouts will become progressively harder and they do get harder until they start repeating. So I have decided to write 30 HIIT routines. Obviously I don’t plan to do 30 Days of strait HIIT, I only do HIIT twice a week but it’s the idea of the thing. Sam is making me an interval timer to use on my computer as well since I can’t afford a GymBoss. I realize there are interval timers free online but I know what I want specifically lol

I want the workouts to be between 30-50 minutes a piece. If I manage to write 30 routines myself then maybe I will film them. I am struggling with this concept a bit though because I don’t have proper filming equipment so the quality won’t be great. I am not even sure if the microphone on my camera is sufficient. I haven’t tried shooting a video with the camera. I am petrified of talking on camera that is the main thing that has been holding me back. Anyhow before I can ever consider making a video I have to write up the routines and then I have to do them to see if they have a good flow and if they are the right difficulty level.

Schedules, Training, Madness, and Aspirin

So I am still alive. Still working out. Still trying to achieve a good balance. Scheduling has always been a bit of a nightmare for me really. I strive to get everything done by 3 pm and depending on whether I can accomplish that and if I have energy (mental and physical) to spare I might make dinner. I rarely make dinner to tell you the truth at least not the healthy from scratch dinners of my dreams. Why do I have to get everything done by 3pm? Brain death. My brain is encased in ever present fog. In the morning I am able to focus better. I have energy. My mood is generally more positive. By the end of the day the fog can be incredibly dense. My energy levels plummet. After dinner (around 5:30 pm) I am pretty much exhausted. Sometimes I have seizures at the end of the day. The Depression that I had been running from during the day catches up and whacks me over the head. Everyday is a race. Everyday I try to pack in whatever I can before my brain goes all mushy and wonky and unpleasant. Once Sam comes home around dinnertime what I need is a good long snuggle. I need comedy. I need to unwind otherwise I can’t, despite being utterly exhausted, sleep and if I can’t sleep I go fucking nuts. Like really certifiably nuts. I am sure there must be a better more normal way of coping but I have not figured out how to do it. Having such a tiny window of time to fit my life activities into is challenging and completely mad but so is life.

Once again I have decided to revamp my training schedule. Here is what I have come up with this time!

Though I have not included it I do 30 minutes of yoga every morning before breakfast. If I didn’t do this session I would be overwhelmed by body pain/stiffness (because I have PTSD and Dissociative Disorder I hold a lot of tension in my muscles, have a lot of nightmares, and position my body awkwardly and painfully when I sleep). It also helps with the Depression and honestly keeps the suicidal thoughts at bay. For me yoga is medicine.

I would like to do more Hiit because it’s fun but it just doesn’t work at the moment. Thursday I have 4 hours of intense physical activity at work so there is just no way. The other days of the week I work at the factory. Some days I am carrying boxes around. Some days I have to stand the entire time. Some jobs are more physically strenuous than others. I find I am usually quite tired when I get home. I also walk more since I have started working. Now that it is getting warmer I am also going to have to find some motivation for gardening! So in the end I am just not as sedentary as I used to be so the longer, more frequent Hiit workouts don’t make sense. Saturday’s Hiit I can manage a longer session but Tuesdays will have to be shorter preferably 30-40 minutes.

I am investigating the possibility of taking a yin yoga course on Sundays. The course is 75 minutes. If I am able to do it that would be 75 minutes plus my 30 minute morning yoga plus 30 minutes to 1 hour of lower body training. The yoga class is also squarely at dinner time. Which is sort of an issue because while I am very hungry around 5pm I tend to have no appetite after 6 pm (my body switches into that weird hibernation cycle I spoke about earlier). Still Sunday would be the only day that I could feasibly do it and I do love yoga. Also yin yoga is more relaxing than say Ashtanga Yoga. Maybe I could eat half my dinner before and half of it after? I have to see how much it costs. I also have to see if the hubster would drive me into town!

Monday- Back/Posture/Pilates/Ballet (I have Kyphosis and I figured I need to spend some extra time on strengthening my back and improving my posture.)

Tuesday- Hiit/Cardio

Wednesday- Upper Body

Thursday- Yoga (my cleaning job is just too exhausting to allow for any other type of workout)

Friday- Abs

Saturday- Hiit/Cardio

Sunday- Lowerbody

I have 6 weeks of my new routine scheduled into my journal. I am excited to see how it goes! On another unpleasant, read with caution note I am having major digestive issues. I have found that I can’t take aspirin at all, it just ruins my stomach. I was sick with the flu a while ago and so I took some aspirin for the body pain and fever and it severely irritated my stomach lining (which caused excruciating pain) and gave me a nightmare case of diarrhea. 2 years ago when I took aspirin this happened as well. I am not even taking a particularly strong aspirin but it causes really intense stomach pain. The stomach issues can last for weeks after. Yesterday my stomach was so enlarged I looked to be 6 months pregnant. I don’t think it is at the level of internal bleeding but I think it would get to that level if I had taken more pills. So if anyone knows any natural fever reducers and pain killers for the next time I get the flu please let me know!

Updates (long-winded)

This week could prove a challenge for me on many levels. Until Thursday my week is more or less the same as any other but from Thursday on the chaos starts. On Thursday when I would usually be heading into my cleaning job my caseworker has scheduled a job interview. For some inexplicable reason she schedules all meetings for my work hours. Since I work only 1 day a week and am otherwise available I have a hard time believing this is coincidental but at the same time it makes no sense for her to be doing it on purpose.

I am not really sure what the job entails. From what I gather I would be working in a plastics factory examining bits for flaws. I have a very cartoonish idea of working in a factory. I just imagine standing in front of a conveyor belt for hours on end placing the odd item into a box marked defective. Is this a thing? If I impress at the interview I could land an internship. The employer seems to be willing to let me work Monday Tuesday Wednesday and alternate Fridays so as not to interfere with therapy. That would cover all the hours I need and I could finally end my job search. The company is also within acceptable commuting distance. I just don’t know if I am qualified for the job or if it is something I would want to do day after day.

I am nervous not just about the interview but about going from being so disabled I couldn’t work to working part-time. That is a huge step and it will require readjusting my life (and my family’s life) in some ways. I am terrible with change (which is putting it euphemistically and mildly).

In some ways I am doing better but in others I am doing worse. My social anxiety has actually gotten significantly worse (it has been getting progressively worse for years). Aside from Sam and Isadora I am now speaking gibberish almost full-time. I simply cannot talk to people, I completely shut down mentally and physically. I still go outside sometimes (not as much as one should mind you) but I don’t interact anymore. I can’t answer the phone, just the sound of it sets me into a full blown panic attack. I dread when people talk to me at work but at the same time I care so little to talk to people that I prefer the awkward silence of not responding to the awkwardness of attempting to engage in conversation. Aside from saying hello I am more or less mute when I step outside of my house (well I do talk to myself). I am even struggling with my relatives (aside from Sam and Isadora). So my social anxiety is at an all time high and I am having panic attacks which I have been in denial about for years.

I am prone to normalization. So lets say I have a serious panic attack on Monday if you asked me on Friday how my week was I would say it went okay more or less. At most I might report some mild anxiety. I also normalize others. I was watching a documentary on Bipolar. My grandmother and mother both had/have it. I couldn’t remember the disorganized speech bit so I asked Sam since he also lived with them and he was just like are you kidding me??? They definitely did that but then again everyone I ever lived with has been seriously mentally ill (so far not Isadora) so I guess I just can’t tell. It also means, however, that I probably am not reporting everything to my therapist.

On Friday I have to go into work to make up for Thursday and I am worried there might be more customers.

Also on Friday we have a family dinner for my daughter’s birthday. So basically I need to get home eat, exercise, shower, clean, and help the hubster set up.

Saturday we will likely be setting up for the party on Sunday where Isadora will have her classmates over. I have no idea how many will actually show up but a house full of kids is very stressful. The party will be 2 hours and then I imagine a lot of cleaning.

Today I had an hour long workout but the rest of the week I have decided to go with short workouts because I just think it will fit better with all that is going on. I have decided to tailor my workouts more with my actual life. Before I just made the world stop for my workouts. I would even work out on days where I knew I had a lot of difficult physical tasks to do. The result? I became too sore and tired to be of much use. So while I do view my workouts as an integral part of my daily life I need to be a little more flexible about it. Next year when I paint the house, that will be counted as my exercise because that is going to be tough.

If you recall I had a recovery week and decided after that to readjust my workouts. Basically I was pushing my body so hard that I was breaking the muscles down and stalling my progress. I practice moderation in my diet so why not in my exercise routine? So far I haven’t put on any weight or gained any inches like I feared. I don’t want to go into any details about measures now because it is still early days with this and when you are dealing with the little numbers I am dealing with fluctuations are all too possible. What I mean is I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, not even 10 lbs so the figures are just so small.

What have I been doing lately? In my yoga I like to work on my weaknesses. If in a workout I notice I am not performing well at a certain move, I will build up the stabilizer muscles required to better execute that move. Lately I have been working on my thighs from every angle and you know it is helping! I also started working on my core flexibility. I have very low flexibility in my lower back and the muscles in my abs are so tight I can’t even perform cobra properly. I feel like the skin itself it going to split. Yesterday I actually managed Camel Pose for a brief spell. For years I could not do this move at all because it caused so much pain (the bad sort) and while it was challenging, it did not hurt. Progress. I have increased my hip flexibility as well and I am quite pleased with the results.

I think I have this week and next planned in a similar fashion but then I decided to go over to this style for bit and see how I do. There should be at least 2 days between every HIIT routine. I have been stressing and stressing about how to make that work in a 7 day week but then I realized it is better to look at the big picture. I might not be able to squeeze in 3 HIIT workouts into one week because of my schedule (my job on Thursday is very physical and I just can’t do HIIT that day) but if you think about it from a wider perspective I am still doing HIIT regularly. I also wanted to just weight train. I used to weight train quite a bit but when I discovered HIIT I started to neglect it. Not that you don’t work on your strength in HIIT but it’s not quite the same focus. I don’t have core days specifically because the Pilates day will certainly have core strength components. Also you can’t do HIIT without using your core and the yoga I do requires core strength as well.

Monday- Yoga

Tuesday- Hiit

Wednesday- Upper Body

Thursday- Yoga

Friday- Hiit

Saturday- Lower Body

Sunday- Pilates or similar

First workout after my recovery week

Today I had a HIIT workout (coming off my recovery week). So how did it go? I felt I was a bit slower particularly to start. The first jump I did was a total omg what the hell is my body doing moment. The jumps proceeding that one I actually felt I achieved a bit more height than normal. There is also an exercise where I have to use the equalizer to lift my whole body off the floor. Today was actually the first day I succeeded and I managed the whole way through. Pushups were hard because one of my elbows locked up and kept popping. In the burn out section I did quite well I definitely feel my outer hip strengthening exercises are working.

Workout 3

Here is my workout video for the day. I am still struggling with lunges. I almost wish I had a harness pulling me back so I wouldn’t keep drifting forward with that front knee. My arms were tired today and this didn’t exactly help with all those pushups. I am so slow with pushups but I have pinched nerves in both shoulders so I have to be very careful with my alignment. I am sure you have noticed I mostly do yoga-style pushups and that is because they don’t pinch. I had a few other issues. I am weirdly skittish about Get Ups. Squat Jumps are quite hard for me as well. I am not good with soft landings haha Exercise doesn’t always look pretty!

Workout 2

Where do I even begin? I have another full length workout for you. I slept poorly last night (traumatic nightmares) and I was, as you will see, a little out of it. My workout is actually on that piece of paper I am straining to see, I just used the workout video in the background as a timer. I messed up a couple of times. I left out some skips which I had to add back later. I feel like you can see pretty well from this angle (not perfectly because I am still headless when standing). If I ever teach workouts I will have to move to a larger room so I can get a full shot. I am not exactly sure how my webcam is going to do with voice recording if I ever talk, I have a feeling the voice quality is going to be an issue.

Why am I doing this?

As I mentioned before I had a traumatic childhood. As a result of that trauma I developed PTSD, Body Dysmorphia, and Dissociative Disorder. I hate being watched. Being watched is paralyzing. In school I had a very difficult time in performance subjects like music and gym. I am that adult who stops breathing or hyperventilates when people so much as glance in my general direction. I am that adult whose work slows to a crawl when her boss is in the same room. I am that adult who can’t pour drinks or cut cakes at parties because of her extreme clumsiness. I don’t just change my behavior when being observed I become hopelessly, irrationally incompetent. So the camera thing is in part to help me connect mind and body and in part to help me desensitize myself to observation.

Now I know this is going to sound crazy because it is crazy but I believe that photographs are partially sentient. I don’t believe this intellectually but somewhere in my mind the concept exists because I can’t have photos anywhere near me or else I start conversing with them. I also don’t like when the camera is pointed at me even if no one is behind it. I know when I make these films that I don’t have to post them. I also know that unless I tell you about them you have no idea that I have even made them. That gives me some sense of control. I do think this desensitization process is working because the other day when I did chair pose I was actually breathing. I also care less about fat rolls because honestly a week ago I wouldn’t have posted this in light of my flabbiness. I have some loose skin in the lower abs from pregnancy and because of the scarring it doesn’t fully tighten. I want to get to a place of self-acceptance. I want to be able to go swimming. I love swimming but I never go because I don’t want to be seen in a swimsuit. When I was an overweight preteen a classmate took some video footage of a headless me in a swimsuit (we were at the pool for a class trip). As the image was headless my identity was hidden but for years they would play that video back and make fun of the hideous, headless fat girl. I was that hideous, headless fat girl. The girl who took the footage was not trying to be mean, she was just filming the class trip (I actually think she edited out my face). I doubt it even occurred to her the negative impact that video was going to have on my self-esteem. At that age a lot of the girls had 6 packs and flat abs so I felt like a whale. I still feel like that same girl though, like I have not changed at all.

Lastly I want others like me. Clumsy types. Shy types. Mid-weight body-types. To feel good about themselves. Right now we are flooded with extremes. The media likes ultra slim girls with chiseled abs. The media likes vivacious, curvaceous plus-sized models. That is fine of course but us regular girls seem to have no place anymore. As a regular girl people criticize me for being too fat and being too thin! Sometimes in the same day! Society seems to have forgotten what us people in the middle look like. There is no good enough for society. There is no just right as far as society is concerned. Societies idea of healthy is not only unattainable but dangerous.

I also did this little ab workout because my other workout was a little shorter than expected. I look terrible in this yikes. The first exercise I did was new to me so I got a little confused.

Workout Video

Today I decided to film my workout. I wanted to do it for myself to check in on my form and speed. It was very informative and I recommend it to anyone looking to improve their workouts. I learned that I am not keeping my knees 90/90 when I lunge (yikes I need to work on that one). I learned that sometimes I am leaning too far forward in squats. I learned that my butt is higher up in that plank then I thought it was haha. I also learned that I make some really bizarre faces when I exercise! I was completely perplexed by those squat jumps, sometimes I get them, sometimes I don’t. I have a hard time with high impact jumping, those tuck jumps what?! In the beginning I do a long jump I am jumping from one end of the yoga mat to the other. I can’t jump further or I would hit the wall.

If you wonder why I use the sandbag it’s because it prevents me from hyper-extending my wrists, also I have short arms and some things are quite awkward with short arms and a long torso. If you wonder why I am not using a jump rope its not because I don’t own one, I do own one that I love, it is just my ceilings are too low to use it indoors.

I am trying to find a good place for the webcam so I can get a full view but the room is small and I am not sure I can get the whole yoga mat into the frame. You can’t see me doing some moves, like tricep extensions. My small purple weights are not heavy enough it’s just that I don’t have time to change the weight on the bar and the larger black hand held weights are just so awkwardly big that they don’t allow me to bicep curl! Also I am still am having issues holding my breath with the camera being on so my breathing was pretty weird.

Time for Failure

I just wanted to share something with you that I have been thinking about. My thoughts are jumbled so bare with me. I do HIIT regularly, the intervals in HIIT are generally between 20-50 seconds. I prefer a 30 second interval, longer intervals are harder to pace. High repetitions and long intervals can also lead to sloppiness. I lose focus and before I know it I have smashed the weight into my knee (really I have the bruises to prove it!).

When I am doing an interval I want to complete the interval from the first beep to the last beep in good form. My drive for “perfection” often discourages me from taking on the most challenging version of an exercise. For example if I have a 50 second interval and the exercise is pushups I am likely to do them on my knees because I know that I can complete the interval “perfectly”. The problem is that with exercise the whole point is failure. Unless you fail you are not going to get stronger. Without failure there is no success. I hate nothing more than to be doing an exercise and to just collapse, it makes me feel weak. I hate when I have to take a pause to catch my breath. I hate when I have to take a pause because my arms are wobbly and uncooperative. I hate the idea of doing 20 seconds of full push ups in an interval that was meant to be 30 seconds. I hate dropping to my knees when I can’t squeeze out one more full push up. I don’t like stumbling and overly complicated exercises. I am a type A personality and guess what I hate that too.

Tidy routines are essentially maintenance routines. I have to fail again and again in order to get stronger. One of the reasons I hate running is because other people might hear my labored breathing as I pass. I am very self-conscious about being human. For many years I could not bring myself to sweat. I would essentially not drink to avoid sweating too much. I have gotten passed that hurdle. I sweat now, at least in the privacy of my own home.

In the privacy of my yoga room I have started to push myself harder, sometimes I even laugh when I fall on my face because I couldn’t do that 1-handed pushup. Sometimes I discover that I have more in me than I thought. My goal is not to become an athlete. I don’t want a 6 pack. I don’t want to be hard and chiseled. I don’t want 10% bodyfat which would compromise my health. My bodyfat goal is 19% but since I have no way of assessing bodyfat I am just going to have to eyeball it lol. Also as long as my bodyfat is in the healthy range everything else is just vanity. Based on this image I would say I was probably 23%, maybe 24% bodyfat it is a little hard to judge because I can’t see their thighs.

Anyway that was off topic. I believe that you can’t succeed without failure, applies to life as well. Life is messy. We are meant to fuck up. Fuck the self-improvement movement. Watch this talk instead and enjoy your imperfect and utterly ridiculous life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4jBd4fArfQ

I actually have a lot more to say but since it is a different topic I thought I ought to wait till another post.