last sunday, driving my dear friend Elizabeth to her car after seeing the musical "beauty and the beast", i found myself talking about my exercise routine.  running.  plyometrics.  free weights.   Elizabeth said, "I'm not sure what that (plyometrics) is."  before i started, i didn't know either.  so i said, "squats, then jumping out of squats, and lunges and lateral moves."  and Elizabeth said something akin to, "i stopped listening at 'squats'."

that makes sense. now that i think about it, it sounds absolutely terrible.  i mean, terrible.  and i certainly don't think it's for everybody.

the first time i tried it (shoes and i are sharing P90-X), i made it halfway through and then very distinctly remember a 5 minute period in the bathroom when i was sure, absolutely confident, i was going to lose my cookies.

it was that bad.

i didn't lose my cookies, though, and kept on alternating running with plyo.  this sunday evening after working out, i pinched the side of my hip in my absolutely scientific way of seeing how much fat i've lost and noticed it wasn't nearly as much as before.  somebody came in the dead of night and stole my belly fat away.

i mean, i don't want it back, so it can stay gone, but i was absolutely shocked that a good diet and regular exercise helped.  what can i say?  i'm a hard sell.  i remember when i got hired on at the juvenile detention center  and we had a physical test and corrections academy to attend.  the first time i hit the track i thought i was going to die. (as we all know, that story turned out ok and it turns out i am very good at a figure 4 takedown.)   i've never been a sports minded person, never played sports, never been athletic, had no idea what i was doing.

STILL have no idea what i'm doing.

one of my favorite counseling questions to ask people is, "how did you know how to do that?"  or "how did you know you could do that?"  i think about that now.  how did i know i could stick with it?

here's my answer:  i didn't know.  i had no idea.  but i think about some of the women in my life i know (Sarah, Rebecca, Kathleen, Jenny, Rikki) who decided that they were going to get healthy and then they got healthy.  and i remember thinking about how gracious they were about their progress and how they weren't preachy and they just had fun and LOVED their bodies as their bodies LOVED them back.  they just ... started moving.

ladies, that was a very powerful message.

there are some things i really like about my changing body.  i love that i can wear a favorite old blue dress again.  i love that i can see a muscle forming on the inside of my thigh i've never seen before (i don't even know what it's called!)  love that i can race up the stairs to the 6th floor of the parking garage i usually use on campus.  love that my shoulders are gaining shape.

loves, i know busy.  i work 16-20 hours at the hospital, spend 20-25 hours at my internship, spend 6 hours a week in classes, spend an ungodly amount of time in the car, and have more reading, research and writing than i know what to do with.  i'm also planning a wedding.  and my partner lives 4 hours away, leading to lots of travel time.  simply put, i don't have time for the gym.  and i had to get over that.  i also have a studio apartment.  some of the things i do to work out might better be considered acrobatics or gymnastics in this little space, but it seems to be getting the job done.

it feels good to move.  it feels good to have energy.  it feels good to sleep well at night.  it feels good to have the positive effects of exercise counter my rather impressive innate ability to worry and be anxious.  (my dear friend B. said on Saturday - and i completely concur!! - that my GAF would never be above an 80 for all the worrying i do!). it just feels good to be able to do something new.

i'm registering for classes tomorrow.

that's not a non sequitur.

i only have one more class to take for my master's.  hallelujah & praise the lord.  but i need to be at 9 credit hours, so i'm also registering for a cardio kickboxing class.  i don't really know what that is, and part of me is absolutely terrified i'm going to look like a complete fool.  the other part of me is ok with that, because i know something now i didn't know too well before:

we all start somewhere.  and it starts by getting up and taking the first step.

so class participants:  apologies if i fall on you.  or fall on myself.  or trip.  or accidentally kick you (it is a kickboxing class after all, and this clumsy girl can make no guarantee about where her foot is going to land.)  i may be the worst kickboxer there ever was.

but nobody's going to smile through the class like i can.  this girl's got to move.

i have some resources that inspire me.

i like Oxygen magazine, great food ideas, but who am i kidding?  i also like to look at their fitness models.  here's the thing though, there's a looooooot of crazy things that go into photo shoots (full disclosure) and i actually don't aspire to look like them.  that's not reasonable for me.  with my schedule, that type of weight training is also not even remotely in the cards for me.  but sometimes they have fitness flash ideas or new ideas for what i can do with my free weights.  that's pretty helpful.

i also like Fitness magazine.  it's nowhere near as intense as Oxygen and usually has articles about how to get up (for the first time) and keep moving.  in the last issue, i found a helpful url that lead to a pdf re: how to start training  for a half marathon ... for people who haven't run before.  i also just saw on their website they have an article about getting up and start walking.

and this website is also pretty helpful for me:  it's just motivating.  and i love that they're real people.  and i'm talking real:  i usually find a few typos in their posts.  (it just makes you human, pfeisters, and i really love that.)


cheers to moving.  to eating healthy food.  to living well.


  1. SUSAN on February 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Love, love this post! It is a good, positive reminder of why I/we (try to) keep moving...and I am going to save it somewhere to remind me again (should I fall off the wagon ;)
    Might even dig out that old P90-x also...
    Blessings to you and Shoes!

  2. BreAnna on February 26, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    My GAF has been running extra low the past few weeks and that's okay. We have the rest of our lives to work out way up to being firmly in the 80s. ;)
    I'm proud of you for taking care of your body and mind. I can't wait until April when we will both have a little more freedom and flexibility in our schedules! Additionally I can't wait to hear all about your adventures in cardio kickboxing.

  3. Lisa on February 27, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    @Susan - I love how you've put that - "we try to keep moving". In the end, for many of us, I think that might be the most reasonable goal. :D And Blessings to you!

    @BreAnna - I just gave a GAF of 10 to our video vignette client, so now I feel a teensy bit ahead of the curve. April, please come. Quickly!! I so love having you in the program - your level headedness and amazing sense of humor really, REALLY, help keep me grounded!


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