Oi, blogosphere, tudo bem?
I’ve spent my waking hours—almost all of them—since we got back from Campos last weekend in the service of a profession that I realise I was right to leave. Well, it left me, but I’M SO GLAD IT DID! I really truly love the material, but the demands are madness. I think I’ve gained 5 lbs because in my misery of stress and pushing the deadline, I ate sugar. And I didn’t leave the house. This was a bad week that way.
BUT: thanks to an all-nighter on Wednesday (double-you tea eff, I’m too old for that), I wrote about 4,000 words in 30 hours, and thought I finished the article… and then, I went to submit it and realised that I had screwed up the length of a variety of sections and it was going to be rejected, so now, I’m editing. Which is still a whole heckuva lot better than first-drafting. And I wish it was done already, but then they said “it’s more important that you do your editorial duties rather than submitter duties”, so I switched priorities and: wham! Another almost all-nighter last night (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I’m starting to feel like the floor of a taxi cab. PS: I miss the Ghostbusters, don’t you? (Points to whoever remembers who said that without having to Google it.)
So now that I’m well over a week late with this post, I want to tell you about the gym. But that’s going to be text-heavy, so I’m breaking it up in a few posts, and even with that this is still crazy long so HAVE A BATHROOM BREAK NOW, BEFORE YOU START READING.
And then I also have to have a holla for Wednesday last, which, as 20 July was both my one monthiversary of being in Brazil, and also the anniversary of the 20th of July conspiracy plot to kill Hitler. Didn’t work, but props for the (partial) effort, boys. And that concludes the part of today where I’m a stodgy old historian, I swear. But as proof that I was actually not 100% stodgy, and kinda concerned with keeping my students’ attention in lectures, this Lego virgin of Stauffenberg was in my PowerPoint to pep up my lectures. Heh. Please don’t be offended at all, I just liked to tell jokes where I could in serious material—usually in ways that were only absurd, to emphasise that it was a joke. Like with this—seriously: the real Stauffenberg was blond!! So not funny that it’s funny, right? No? OK, moving on, then.
Chapter 1: “In the beginning, there was Bio-Ritmo”
Best money I’ve ever spent, let me tell you. This whole process is very cool, and the name of this game is, “I will never see such good service at a gym again“. Let’s start at the beginning:
Last Thursday I had my medical evaluation and first appointment–that’s first and second of FIVE (!!) appointments. The night before, Jessica and I realised that they were both *earlier* than Dante—the English-speaking guy—started working. Well! I was just going to have to bring my dictionary and make the best of it.
I showed up. I gave them my best “não falo portugués“, while also brandishing my appointment card so we’d be speaking the same language, yet without in any way actually speaking the same language. STILL, the guy at the desk just looked at me (and the three horns CLEARLY growing out of my head), and called a woman over. She looked at me, and said, “I’m Carol. I don’t speak as good as Dante, but I can help.” Awesome. I was set.
She brought me to the doctor and as we waited we talked body image a bit. She’s a tall and thin sort and said she was sorry she didn’t have a big bum like they like in Brazil. I love this place. 😀 We talked about how people do dangerous and stupid things to try to fit those images when it’s not natural for them. You have to live, right?
She said, “have you had pão de queijo [Brazilian cheesy bread, recipe forthcoming!]?” OF COURSE I HAVE! and then “I can’t believe they don’t have that in *every* country!” Too true! And if you’re being a slave to an impossible aesthetic and live a pão de queijo–free life, are you living at all?? We bonded instantly. I thought Carol was great.
The doctor, (“Silvia. In Brazil we always use first names for everything”), was *also* great, and also spoke English (so there, Dante!). She took my blood pressure and pulse (really good and really bad, respectively—totally normal for me, unfortunately), and then she hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and got me on the treadmill. This phase involved me being shirtless… and walking up an incline. Then, Silvia cranked the speed and I was shirtless… and *running*… while I’m a touch gorda. I only felt bad for her. 😀 But it all came out in the wash: I was wearing my koru necklace from NZ (like that one (source), but in hematite), and at the end of our meeting she got excited and said, “I normally wouldn’t show you this, but LOOK AT MY TATTOO!” while pulling up her left pantleg, showing a HUGE Maori-style tattoo covering most of her calf… instant bonding! She’s a gym-user too and said, “any time you need anything, please just ask me!”
So at that point, of the people at the gym who had actually spoken to me, I was 3 for 3 with beyond-amazing service. I felt better about paying exorbitantly for membership.
And then Tamorina came to collect me… and *that* is when the weighing, the measurement, the goal discussion, and the status-quo taking took place. Meeting two of five.
(I avoid weighing myself because I fixate on numbers and then either overly restrict or self-sabotage.) When it came time for the scale, I just said, “if I’m over X, I don’t want to know.” I got on the scale. There was a pause… and she said “oh”. And I laughed.
Well, that’s OK—gorrrrrrrrrrrda—FINALLY I had the time and inclination to fix it. 😀 How many times have I made goals and plans to get healthy on this blog? I can’t even guess. At least 7. But this is actually different. Mark my words!
She took my measurements (source). I went to my happy place. We did waist, hips, each thigh, and arms. Strangely, not a chest measurement, but I suppose so many people have implants here that it’s kinda bogus. 😀
We did a flexibility text (the sit and reach past your toes—three times), and my flexibility was good. Not so good that I love me a downward dog or anything, but I rise to testing occasions. 😀
Loving the gym some more—-the next part of this evaluation was about my FEELINGS.
How is my self-esteem? Am I confident? How does going to the gym make me feel? I rated all these (and more) on a scale of “good / bad” or “yes /no”, and we talked about the plan I had in front of me. I stated that my goals were three things… related to my gorda-osity, but not directly
The thing about my weight is, if I’m over the weight that I’m most comfortable at, that’s when my cholesterol is bad. I’ve played this game enough that I don’t even need to have the blood test to prove it—and I’m not in a tizzy about it because I know from experience that I can fix it.
In some ways, when I snuck a look at my weight on the sheets Tamorina was filling out, it was a good wake-up call: shur, I would like to like the way my clothes fit, but more than that, I don’t want Lipitor.
And that gave me the awesomest shot-in-the arm. Hooray for motivation!
I can do this. And not only that, I already *am*. I’ve done it before—this is my 28th birthday picture, when I had *just* found out I had my cholesterol record:
A bit out of focus because it’s a self-portrait, and it can be hard to focus using the timer…
And this is 4 months later—forgiving the asinine expression on my face, because as I’ve said before, I’m not photogenic and I avoid pictures, but I had just got the BIGGEST CHEQUE OF MY LIFE and I took a dorky “woo-woo” photo to send to one of my sisters:
Do you see the difference? It’s about 17lbs, 1 chin, 2 dress sizes, cardiovascular endurance, muscle mass, AND a fraction of the BAD cholesterol. Do you also see the running cheetah border in the house I was renting? Underneath that was leopard print wallpaper. I DIDN’T DECORATE.
So in the end, there was light. And now, different me, different year, different *continent*, but I’m going to kill this thing.
Did I mention that my gym guarantees results?
More next time—on goals and weight programs—and more briefly. 😀