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    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    @oldhat - @Fauxhammer speaks the truth. If you are in a period of muscle building exercise - do not use a scale as a measure of your progress. Muscle mass will sometimes make your numbers go up, even while you are slimming.

    If you must measure to maintain progress, measure your waist and hips with measuring tape, and pay attention to how clothes you've worn a long time fit. Don't go by weight, unless you also have some way to calculate bodyfat ratio. That's not easy, so I prefer not to pay too close attention to weight at all.
  1.  (10397.22)
    I second/third @fauxhammer and @oddbill. Buy yerself a measuring tape.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    To be honest, 5 pounds of muscle is a LOT to put on, gonna throw that out there. Don't mean to be harsh, just realistic - it takes a few months for that to happen. I DO agree that it's better to measure yourself, though like I mentioned on twitter, I once gained an inch on my waist over a week and then lost it over the following weekend. Bloating and water retention can mess with your measurements big time.

    But for what it's worth, I just watched this workout video and this girl said that her weight fluctuates by 7 pounds during the winter, so don't be hard on yourself! (She doesn't actually say that in the video, she says it here.) Just remember that weight loss is a long, dynamic process and there will always be some times when your weight is gonna go up, and that's okay. You'll get back on track if you persevere :)
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    Thanks guys...I know that I should be looking more at my figure than my weight, it's just hard to switch that when I had a weight loss goal I started two years ago that I still haven't met (am less than 20lbs away from it too, so I can almost taste it). And as for the strength exercise....I talked with my trainer and it's been agreed that I really need to work more on my cardio workouts in the ring ("80% of boxing is dancing" as she says and as it is I get REALLY worn out after 2-3 rounds) so the biggest bulk of my times at the gym will be primarily cardio exercises, which, along with eating right, should help bring the numbers down anyways.

    I know it's a silly mindset and I should change my thinking on it, but it really is like wanting to finish a long book.
  2.  (10397.25)
    The pinch test is useful for checking body fat vs muscle mass, too. If you can pinch up a small fold of fat on your stomach, you're fine and healthy. If it's a double handful, it's probably time to cut out the burgers and ice cream.
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    Oh man the last few pounds is like almost impossible! It's like, when you get close, this happens:

    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    Yeah, I'm at the last few pounds, too. So hard!! I've lost about 27 pounds to date, and have 10 more to go, but the progress is SO SLOW these days. The first 10 pounds seemed to melt away instantaneously, where as the last 10 pounds I've lost took about 5 months to lose. D:
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    Yeah...I've lost a little over 50lbs with the remaining 20 to go. Once I reach that I'll be at a weight that I haven't been at since high school. This further makes it harder to focus away from the numbers and look at the looks. :S
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    @oldhat, and really anyone engaged in physical reconfiguration, read this!

    It's an article written by a woman who is a 43 year old professor specializing in 17th-century French visual culture, the history of the body, and critical museum theory, who, for a research project, became a competitive bodybuilder.

    I found this bit to be very interesting:

    Instead of viewing my body as a stable form to be manipulated at will or a superficial image to be presented to the world, I came to understand it as a process, similar to historical conceptions of corporeality. During the early-modern period in Europe (roughly 1500 to 1800), for example, there was no body type that was considered normal or standard. Every body was different, continually responding to changes in climate, food, and physical activity. Early-modern individuals were largely responsible for knowing and treating their own bodies, sharing that information with health-care practitioners.

    Contemporary bodybuilders observe their bodies in a similar way, noting how they respond to supplements, utilize carbohydrates, and store fat, for example. Like the early-modern body, this built body is always in flux—bulking up before dieting down, absorbing water before shedding it, bloating with carbs before leaning out.

    While engaging in those cyclical activities, I realized that I could never achieve the ideal Figure-girl form, but could instead both adjust and challenge my body, ultimately realizing its strengths and limitations. Belying my initial fears that the discipline required to produce a "stage-worthy" body would encourage me to detest my flesh, and possibly even develop an eating disorder, I instead came to appreciate my physical strengths and weaknesses.

    Physicality as a process is something I am only now, at 42 myself, coming to understand. There is no goal, really. There are only transient states, and I'm always passing through them, never arriving.

    Having the appearance I want to have for specific occasions is more like astrodynamics - planning to fall into a moving window in relation to other moving windows. There is no endgame, only maneuvers.
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011 edited
    @Icelandbob - I'm terribly sorry to hear about how things are going for your family. A bit afraid to ask after how things are with Sigga. I hope that, at least, is a good refuge. I have been thinking recently how terrifying it must be to see death approaching - for reals, I mean. I had been blithe about it as a kid, and cavalier when I was a depressive young adult, but on entering middle age I'm watching my elders lose more and more ground, never to be recovered and I'm realizing it's got to be frightening to know that there's a point after which, that's it. Whatever you were hoping to do, whatever you needed to say, better get it done or let go of it because you can't rely on tomorrow. My dad has kidney disease, a family friend and a personal friend both have breast cancer (the family friend's husband's liver is shot and his mind is going)...I'm watching people I know and love have to think very carefully about what could be their final wishes.

    @oldhat - the last 20 are a bitch. When I got down to them I had never been lighter in my adult life and I was shooting for weight that was less than high school (I have been flabby my whole life). Then a bunch of crap in my life fell apart and I stopped trying. And shit kept being bad and I took on bad habits like McD's every other day, sugary coffee things, etc. Until now I rarely keep away from junk food and never exercise. I really ought to get the healthy habits back if only because I felt - physically - great back then. I didn't lose my breath so easily, my skin was excellent, etc.

    The brain gets in the way of a lot of this but you already know the end run around it - go by how clothes fit & how fit your body is. Stick to good habits and you'll keep looking gorgeous. Numbers are concepts anyway.

    @oddbill - that's an interesting way to look at it. It's like having a conversation with your body. Requires fundamental reworking of the mind and I don't know if I or anyone else here would ever want to get into that, but I dig alternative points of view.

    As for me, I survived the Japanese final. I don't know how I did - I suspect not very well, but hopefully I didn't bomb so hard it hit my class grade - but sensei seemed to expect I should do ok. I dunno. I also turned in my final paper and she promptly marked it up in red and asked me to stay after to rewrite it with her corrections. I can never tell what that means, but hopefully the bonus effort was worth something.

    I'm helping my mom in her second grade classroom for the rest of the week. At lunch I listened to a teacher talk about her father and his advancing Alzheimer's. It went into the thoughts about how The End comes on us, and how aging makes us lose ground that will never be recovered. When I'm at a distance from it happening I actually find myself (my science-y brain) thinking "whoa how exciting! something is happening in there, shit is being moved around and altered, I wonder what'll happen next!" Never mind that the people who love the person going through mental decline are in pain from losing said person they love.

    On the other hand, while the promise of youth is tantalizing there's so much they don't know. They don't get... I was trying to explain the concept of "renewing" to one of the students and the best we could come up with was renewing a membership. Now, seven year olds don't tend to have memberships to anything. At best they have library cards - which don't expire. So I said credit cards expire and need to be renewed. It's for concepts - food can expire but you don't renew it, you throw it away. How can you possibly explain the idea of renewing a friendship to a seven year old? I have friends whom I haven't seen for longer than these kids have been alive! *sigh*

    As Will Eisner said, you can't talk to kids about a heartbreak.
  3.  (10397.31)
    Went and got the scan - thankfully everything down there is fine, apart from calcium buildups which mean I need to get an ultrasound every year just in case. Phew.

    Of course this means the discomfort that prompted me to get checked is idiopathic - Doctor speech for "We don't know what it is but it probably won't kill you so stop bothering us"

    Thanks for the support folks, much appreciated.
  4.  (10397.32)
    @oddbill - I am mesmerized by that woman in the bodyrock video.
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011 edited
    @Rachael - you mean the one that @Argos posted, right? I cannot look away from her abs. It is all I can see!
  5.  (10397.34)
    Yes yes yes, that's what I meant. SEE?!? I was so distracted by her that I confused the video window author person thing. When she does those side lifts on the "dip station" I just keep thinking how amazing it must be to FEEL like her and do that so smoothly.

    She must feel like panther.
  6.  (10397.35)
    @JP - I appreciate your love story.

    Regarding general need to work out and exercise, I am trying to instill in myself a sort of spiteful rage at the mother and grandmother who were models, and the half sister unrelated to them who is currently a model, and use this fury at genetics to foster a competitive fire that will get me to eat the strict diet I should and work out and stretch like I medically must until I become a lithe fit creature that overcomes my ailments through hard effort.

    It isn't working.


    Monday, I'd concocted an amazing Hot Toddy to help the throat sickness. But I got drunk on it, so I figured I may as well go out to the Drinking Monday bar of choice. By chance, a corporate party had left fancy food platters. Also, my roommate and his crowd were celebrating someone's birthday. It was an evening of lapdances and baked brie.

    Sunday night I'd bought two pricey tickets on total impulse for a Tuesday performance. The friend I'd hoped would go with me bailed 3.5 hours beforehand today. After two hours of seeking out someone to go with me, I called young man I'd never met (but meant to) and 45 minutes later we were seated in the Brooklyn Academy of Music watching John Hurt perform Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape".

    That was nice.

    I'd be nice if I could feel not miserable. But I'm pretty sure this is going to be one of those birthdays and Christmases where I don't get or give any presents. Nor do anything Christmasy. With anyone. At any point.

    A long term future of having to pay $450 in rent but live on $645 a month is sort of horrible. Thanks, Federal Disability, and the complete halting of Section 8 in all of NYC, and affordable housing waitinglists for decades.

    I miss having friends. People my age that I feel I connect with.

    I'm so desperately and terribly lonely and unconnected to anyone.

    I feel like the world has ended up a terrible disappointment. A terrible terrible disappointment. Anything good stands out so glaringly against the backdrop of my life that the contrast alone becomes depressing in itself. Like when I went to my friend's bachelorette party last year. For three days afterwards, all the muscles in my jaw and neck were pulled because it'd been so long since I'd laughed and smiled. Even the remnant of joy becomes a scar of sadness.

    There's not one aspect of my life, one human I've cared about, where I've not been dramatically let down.

    Clearly, I drive people away. But I'm not sure how exactly, or what I'm doing wrong, and it's kind of wrecking me.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    I'm having a really weird week this week. Drove from Sydney to my hometown (over 600km) on Sunday, and have been shot ever since. Got to my mother's place, to learn that she has broken up with her girlfriend, but they are still sharing the house (and until I free up the spare room, their bed. Awkward.) I'm missing my boyfriend because it's the first time in almost 2 years we've been apart for more than 24 hours, and I'm annoyed that I miss him, because even though I love him, I didn't realise we'd become this co-dependent. Talk about first world problems, huh. I'm in a loving relationship with this guy who's intelligent, brilliant in bed and sweet as anything, and I'm complaining because I rely on him too much.

    In a similar vein, I'm currently having a true first world dilemma: I got accepted into the same Masters course at two universities: Speech Pathology, at University of Sydney or Macquarie University. Both are about the same travel distance, one will potentially cost a lot more, but it has a better reputed programme. I have until friday to figure out which one I want to go to,and I'm completely stuck on which one I should go with.

    On a completely unrelated note: how worried do you guys think I should be that I seem to have formed a cyst at the site of a recent vaccine injection?
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    I feel like I need legal advice every five minutes. I want to hire a lawyer to carry me around and speak for me like a ventriloquist. How much would something like that cost?

    Also, isn't it always a subtle insult when someone spells your name wrong?
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    @allana, Apparently this site can offer some help in getting a lawyer who will work pro bono. This is on the suggestion of a friend and I don't have experience with this, so your mileage may vary.

    As for the name spelling...I've gotten used to my first name, but when people pronounce my name LeBlank I want to murder.
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    LeBlank sounds like a French Dick Tracy villain with no face!
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    Maybe The Blank's French cousin?