Thursday, July 10, 2008

Using my talents and improving where there are none

Before summer started, I had decided I would complete a painting for the September Art show at the local arts council gallery. Well, I've been painting, but not for the gallery. I've been volunteering my services to my church for Vacation Bible School. It's going to be a Rain forest Adventure and the decorating is awesome. There are vines and beautiful tissue-paper flowers hanging from the ceiling. I painted two banners of leaves, flowers, and branches as well as large paintings of the five Rain forest animals the program created. It has kept me very busy the last two weeks, but I have enjoyed it. The kids go to the church with me and play in the nursery while the moms (yes, stay-at-home-moms and most husbands are military) make decorations.

In addition to spending time painting, I've been doing something else I enjoy: exercising! Woo hoo! I had to get back into it. Surprisingly, it hasn't been as difficult as I had thought. I worked out regularly doing Stroller Strides from last May through December when it got too cold. Seven months of working out had me feeling pretty good. Then winter came and I got a six-week cold virus and then influenza, plus I was trying to do a semester of school. I couldn't really find the time or energy to exercise for five months. Once school was out in May I started going to the Y to do the elliptical but I was missing the class environment that was Stroller Strides. It works better to have someone telling you what to do and to concentrate on that person rather than on the pain... I mean, discomfort. Also, it helps to see other people suffering around you. It makes it more fun! haha! I saw cardio-sculpt was on the schedule and went to that class. Turned out the Vacation Bible School director is the cardio-sculpt instructor. I took my inhaler before my class and got to the point of an asthma attack twice, but just relaxed it a bit and was fine. Then I tried kickboxing by accident the next week because I read the schedule wrong thinking it was cardio-sculpt. Kickboxing kicked ass! It was so fun! And my triceps were actually sore, so I know I got a good work-out. I'm sticking with kickboxing with that instructor. But it's only once a week, so I am doing a cardio-sculpt in the morning as well as one tough Yoga class on Sundays and one easy, relaxing yoga on Wed. after kickboxing. Only, yesterday's "relaxing" yoga class was actually a "relaxing" pilates class because there was a substitute instructor. I was the only participant aside from the instructor's husband and I got individual attention. I am NOT flexible at all. I told her I have a lower-spine injury, which is true though it doesn't really hold me back much, so maybe that made her more understanding and ready with all the modifications that my stiff legs needed. To demonstrate how inflexible I am, I cannot sit up straight with my legs out straight in front of me. I have to either bend my knees, lean back on my hands some or strain to hold my torso upright. I really need these classes for balance, though. Once I saw on the real age site how long someone my age should be able to balance on one leg with my eyes closed and I couldn't do it. I am having trouble with balance in the kickboxing class because of my right foot being twisted out some. Hopefully I'll improve my balance.

When I work out, my diet magically improves. I still eat what I want, but I tend to want healthier foods without forcing myself to choose them. I guess I just don't want to undo the effort I put in. I do need to lose a little weight, nothing drastic, just maybe 8 pounds. Actually I don't want to say I need to lose 8 pounds, because the number on the scale doesn't bother me. I am bothered by how tight my shorts and slacks are fitting these days. I could actually remain the same weight and slim down because of building muscle. I'm not a pear figure really, I'm a rectangle, but I gain weight like a pear (thanks, mom and Mimi and all those before me!), so my butt and hips have increased to an uncomfortable size.

W is starting to get into the gym as well, which is nice because the kids have two examples of putting health as a priority in life. They are enjoying going to the Child Watch and look forward to going to the Y. Summer is good.

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