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Tea Gets Fit!
cap, captain miss america

So I decided recently that I desperately need to get more exercise. I’ve been consistently gaining weight, and while I’m not really at an unhealthy weight, I’ve noticed that I’m not nearly as flexible or as physically strong as I once was. And that can be frustrating.

I am very much against dieting. I don’t do it. I think that, when you’re discussing people like me, who have relatively healthy relationships with food, at least (I know it’s different for other people), out bodies tell us what kind of food we want to eat and it’s because those are the foods that have the nutrients we need. I rarely eat fast food or red meat, and most of the food I eat in my home is vegan and raw, but I don’t limit myself to a specific diet. I rarely drink soda and save it for when I have a headache or allergies, and when I drink sugary juice, I drink it half-and-half with seltzer. So my eating habits are already pretty healthy.

But I don’t exercise at all– I mean, other than the ten blocks I walk each way to work every day (that’s about a 12 minute walk for those of you who aren’t familiar with NYC blocks). And my upper body strength is abysmal. So I decided I needed to do something about it. I don’t want to be one of those people who didn’t exercise when she could have and realizes at fifty that I have health problems I could have prevented in my thirties just by taking better care of my self.

I recently turned my Netflix account back on after nearly five years, and discovered that I can get fitness videos on Play Instantly. I also got my Wii set back up for Play Instantly, and that means one of two things:

1) I can play more Wii games, which are more active than some of my other stay-at-home activities
2) I can use fitness videos

So, starting Friday, I have been walking home from work at lunch, doing ten minutes of beginner fitness video workouts (ones that are designed to be short stretches and such), eating lunch at home (cheaper than eating at work!), and walking back. I’ve also been playing more of the more active Wii games I own. This adds close to a half-hour of walking to my daily schedule, plus the exercise in between, and at night.

I don’t know if it will really have an effect, but I’m certainly willing to try. It’s been nearly a year since I stopped using shampoo and that was an excellent personal improvement. It seems like it’s about time to fit in another one!

I’ve decided I’m going to take progress pictures so I can see if there’s any visible progress from my increased exercise. I’m going to take them every Friday. This is sort of my way of holding myself to the self-improvement goal, because while I don’t really have a goal of losing a lot of weight, I do want to see more muscle tone on my body and an overall healthier look. I also feel like this is the kind of thing that people don’t often talk about in real, visual terms. Lots of people feel like they have awkward bits on their bodies no matter what shape their bodies take, and we’re all too used to seeing airbrushed models. I feel like the more we get used to seeing normal bodies, the better off we’ll all be in the long run. I’m a little, I don’t know, apprehensive about this, because part of me feels a little weird putting up pictures of myself in shorts and a sports bra where everyone in the world can see, but hey, it’s more clothes than I would be wearing at the beach. So here’s Week 1:

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Front

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Front

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Side

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Side

And no, this isn’t going to preclude my usual food posts. Like I said, I don’t do dieting. Plus, I just made a quart of Earl Grey ice cream and it’s in the fridge freezing.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

i'm with you. I'm comfortable with how i look... but i know i don't exercise nearly enough. I've been doing a 30 min bike ride every wednesday and saturday for the past two weeks. so far the only difference is that i sleep a little better that night.

X3 BUT. soon i will have toned muscles... and a better heart.

Yeah, exactly! I would love to ride but New York City isn't the safest place for it. I know people do, but it kinda freaks me out.

So far I have been sleeping WORSE! I don't quite know what to do with that. Most people say they sleep better when they start exercising but it's not happening for me. I literally couldn't pull myself out of bed this morning.

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Thank you! I have asthma, too, but mainly I just get it from allergies...although now that you mention it, I've been way more asthmatic this week than I was before this. Huh.

But yeah, it's kind of frustrating when I notice that I can't touch my toes anymore, and my joints don't bend like they used to, I want to improve that!

Maybe I should try something like this, with pictures to hold myself accountable. I definitely can't diet, though, because I'm pretty much perpetually dieting to some extent. :( Thanks, mom.

Argh. I don't really see the point in dieting unless you're someone who naturally gravitates toward unhealthy foods. Like, if you're someone who needs to force themselves not to stop at McDonald's every day. For me, no. I already eat a nice, healthy, balanced diet and I'm not going to let anyone make me feel ashamed if I want to eat a pint of ice cream now and then.

But yeah, I notice that when I post things regularly on the internet, I have more of an impetus to follow through so people aren't like, hey, what happened with that thing you were thinging? And I feel like photos will help, too, because while I don't expect visible progress after a week, I think it will be something that might help foster discussions of the fact that getting in shape doesn't happen overnight, and even if the progress over many weeks might look astounding, the progress from one week to the next is going to be kinda meh.

I can understand wanting to have some more muscle tone. But for what it's worth (and remember this comes from a gay guy), I think you have a really nice, real figure. Good for you all around! Earl Grey ice cream? Hmm, that sounds interesting!

I am excited for my ice cream!

And thanks; no sweat, I wouldn't think that was weird coming from you, anyway! That's really the point. I know I look okay, but it's frustrating that I can't bend and lift things the way I used to, and I want to improve that!

I need to get back into shape. But sometimes I feel like there's not much point, because I'm not doing it for anything. I need a goal. If I didn't hate running, I'd do a marathon.

But I think the Wii exercise regime is a good plan!

See, I am okay with the goal of "I would like to be healthy when I am fifty." That works okay for me.

You could try out for roller derby? You would make a good derby girl, I feel.

You are so full of common sense. I think this is a great idea and it's not that far off what I'm going to be doing once I've finished breastfeeding. I'm pretty lucky in that good genetics means that I'm naturally inclined towards an athletic build and I'm a very active full time mother (I think if you're parenting full time and you're doing it right, it's impossible to live a sedentary lifestyle), but until I finish nursing and see just how much fat my body has retained, I really am not in any position to get my body in the kind of shape I want it to be, which will be that of a fit 30-something rather than trying to get back to the skinny minnie of my teens.

I am a bit lucky in that I was a chubby teenager, so I don't see myself as wanting to look like I did as a kid, ever! I am much healthier now than I was back then.

And yeah, I have good genetics in terms of my body type and all that, and I live in a city which pretty much induces me to walk everywhere.

Thanks! I hope it works, and I hope it works out for you, too.

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Wii Sports has a fitness gauge, so I have been using that, and also playing Rayman Ravin' Rabbits. Those are pretty much all the games I own, so I don't know about other ones! I would like other ones, though. I've been thinking about springing for Wii Fit or a DDR the next time I get a freelance paycheck.

Good luck on the exercise. Even if it doesn't result in weight loss it will help just to get you going. I find a big difference since I got my treadmill.

Yeah, I am less concerned about losing weight and more concerned with gaining upper body strength and overall stamina. Thanks! I would love to have exercise equipment but my apartment is too small. Maybe someday!

Sandi and I are wishing that we had done this in December when we started working out. Sometimes the scale doesn't show what's really happening. My belt has been tightened a couple of notches even though I've only shown about 10-12 pounds on the scale.

10-12 lbs is a lot for an average-sized person if you start thinking of it in percentages. That's about 8% for someone who weighs 150lbs and 6% percent for someone who weighs 200lbs.

But yeah! I don't own a scale, and it's less important to me to be losing weight than to be looking and feeling stronger and healthier. I know I'm pretty thin, but I'm also pretty flabby, so if I manage to put on some more muscle, I figure I can reasonably expect to gain a couple pounds rather than take it off. But if I'm happy with the way the results look in photographs, I think that's a great way to judge.

:::nods::: I am with you all the way on the "no-dieting" front. Getting fit and toned is far better for one than is simple weight loss.

Wishing you much success with this!

Thanks! And yeah, that's why I think pictures will be a better gauge than a scale! I didn't even weigh myself for a beginning weight.

I feel you on that. Cardio and flexibility are my goals. Netflix has pilates videos which are pretty fun, fyi, and yoga. Don't know about weight-training.

Yeah, I've been doing some yoga and pilates. Do you have favorites you would recommend? I've been doing the ten minute ones. I can't do weight training because I don't have weights. If you know one that uses a balance ball, I have one of those but haven't found a video with one.

Two things-- one, a question. You said you drink soda when you have allergies. Why is that? Does it help? I've been known to use it when I have a migraine but if it also helps allergies I should keep some around, as this spring has been a very hard time for me. I'm interested to learn.

Two, Earl Grey ice cream sounds awesome.

Good luck and way to go with this!

Caffeine has antihistamine properties, so if I start feeling asthmatic and don't have an inhaler with me, yeah, a single can of Coke can help a lot. It's not a replacement for albuterol, but for allergy-related asthma, it can be really great.

Also, it was pretty awesome. Recipe tonight.

Good luck! I'm trying to get back into exercising as well. Last year, my friends and I started walking to and around this huge lake (all up 11km) twice a week, then we built up to walking to and running around, and then as summer approached we made one of those nights for swimming instead and I'd notch up 3km of laps. Then I moved away and now I do ... nothing. Every time I think of a fitness idea it lasts a week. I started again today with a run after lunch and a run after dinner and I am hoping the weather holds out so that I never have the excuse to skip these!

Oh, wow. That's some great exercise. That's usually how my attempts work, too, which is why I'm making an effort to hold myself accountable.