Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Where It's At Wednesday: A Balanced Approach

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

In this week's Fat Friday post (which I wrote on Tuesday) I talk about my struggles with convincing myself to work out. My solution to this dilemma comes in the form of framing the workout as physical therapy to improve my abilities rather than an attempt to become some idealized model of what a woman is supposed to be, and guess what, I believe I emerged triumphantly! 

Like many people, I was raised with the "no pain no gain" model of exercise. If your workout doesn't make you practically an Olympic athlete, what are you even doing? If your workout doesn't give you an ass and abs so toned that you can bounce quarters off them, it isn't a "real" workout. And if your workout isn't making you lose weight, well, you aren't working out hard enough and you suck.

Messages like this cause people to hate exercise. So I threw them all out the window. I actually like to exercise, but in the past, I did it to extremes. This approach is both unrealistic and unenjoyable, so boom, it's gone. One nice thing about being old and therefore invisible to the male gaze (although not invisible enough, unfortunately) is joyfully abandoning the idea that my exercise program needs to focus on "sexiness" for even one second of my time. If anyone were ever to describe me as "sexy," it would be because:

1) They're taking the piss. This makes them a twat and not worth my time or energy.

2) They've been hit on the head. They need to be in the emergency room. 

3) They're off their rocker and need mental help. 

4) Some jokester pasted pictures of the Sex Symbol Du jour to their glasses.

Any way you slice this pie, I am not and do not care about being sexy.

So, since I'm not trying to be a GYWB (Granny You Wanna Bang), I'm not training for the Paralympics, and I'm no longer trying to hate myself thin, what the hell am I doing?

I'm focusing on improving my areas of compromise by doing workouts that are both enjoyable and in my wheelhouse.

I had a nasty asthma attack complete with hacking up copious disgusting mucus yesterday evening, so today I decided to focus on exercises that improve pulmonary capacity and condition the muscle groups that support optimal breathing. I found a selection of ten yoga poses for this purpose and tailored them to suit my abilities.

I started with an easy warmup, just moving and stretching. I can't do high-octane exercise and didn't want to be wheezing before I even got into the workout itself. Then I did some stretches and got down to business.

One thing I'd do differently than I did today is put the Eagle pose closer to the front of the workout. It's listed at the end and by the time I got to it I just couldn't hang. I lay flat and raised the foot of my adjustable bed to the highest position, just letting my back stretch for a few minutes. 

I felt like this routine was effective and I'd be happy to do it again. I'd like to be working out every day like I used to. 

I fell down the rabbit hole of seeking abdominal workouts for my next session. One thing I'd advise people to stop saying is "anybody can do (insert name of exercise)." 

No, everybody cannot do every exercise. Stop saying that.

Another variation is "if I can do X, anybody can."

Also not true, and discouraging to hear for those people who can't do whatever thing you find simple to do. 

We all have different abilities and challenges. 

If you have been avoiding exercise because like me you feel intimidated by not being able to work out strenuously or your form isn't perfect or you're just plain sick and tired of people assuming that exercise is all about TEH WATE LOOZE, I hope that I may have inspired you to try again. Make your workout about what you need, not about what other people think you need. 

I welcome you to share your thoughts and experiences with a reminder that this is a diet talk and weight loss talk-free space. You may share thoughts on how these issues affect your relationship with physical exercise. What I don't welcome is conversations such as "but the All Bean, Cauliflower, and Cabbage Diet is the last diet you'll ever need and you'll totally blast off those unsightly pounds" or "I lost 2500 pounds doing the Car Lift Challenge just three days a week and if I can do it anyone can do it." Not interested.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
Still fat. Still ornery. But a little more flexible.

Free use image from Pixabay
Hangry is ready to stick a fork in this post.
Which reminds me, it's time to start dinner.

Here are the only diet books vetted and endorsed by Ornery Owl and Hangry Wyrm.

The Fuck It Diet

Health At Every Size

The Deep House mix I listened to while doing my yoga exercises today.  
Here's the link in case you can't see the player. 

 The Deep House mix I listened to while penning this post.

Here's the link in case you can't see the player.

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)

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  1. I am currently in an exercise program designed to improve my balance and my flexibility. So far, so good. I doubt that any of it will make an iota of difference to my weight. Which is fine. That isn't why I have signed up.

    1. Exactly! I'm glad to see you back. :-)
      I've managed to strengthen my lower back enough that it no longer hurts all the time. I still hate going up stairs though.


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