Aug. 11th, 2013

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ocean, with front deck of kayak in left lower corner,  a rocky point in the middle, and the mainland mountains in the background

but they were probably a foot and a half, just short of white-capping. i went to blue heron park, and while the bay was relatively sheltered, out in the strait there was a bit of a wind, which, together with the incoming tide, produced some nice waves. which were great fun to paddle in; i'd power on out towards a tiny islet, and then "surf" back in with the waves at my back. an hour and a half didn't even seem that long.

i'm coming to the conclusion that cardio-focussed exercise for weight loss is something of a bogus proposition. not that i am kayaking for weight loss (or doing anything for weight loss), i'm just keeping a log of food intake for heart reasons right now, and making some observations. kayaking for an hour and half at the activity level i am doing it burns off about 500 kcal. walking every day for 40 min at ~3mph burns off 250 kcal. changing my diet to one with a lower glycemic load has reduced my caloric intake by ever so much more. i couldn't possibly exercise at the level at which, for example, cutting out most refined sugar affects me, and now i seriously doubt anyone can but those who are already very fit.

weirdly enough, this makes me feel good. *heh*. for most of my life i've been reasonably active -- not athletically, but i've steadily walked, hiked, swum, canoed, with only some excessively sedentary periods. and people used to think of me as a couch potato, because i've always been overweight. i sorta chafed at that. ok, i wasn't fast, or particularly strong, but i had decent endurance, and i did most definitely not lounge on my couch all day long (more likely in my computer chair anyway). i've been equally fat when i was reasonably active as when i hibernated in front of my computer all winter long. i've been in very different shape, however. so yeah, going for "health at any size" is the only message that makes sense to me after observing myself and my interactions with food and exercise for decades.

i've mostly opted out from reading size/fat shaming anything (easy to do only if one no longer watches mainstream tv or reads mainstream papers/magazines). and i no longer see dr. weightloss-uber-alles ("i don't understand why your cholesterol levels are so good"). i've got my blood pressure and blood sugar levels down with diet changes, not with increasing exercise past a daily walk. but i still carry some of those dumb messages with me, and it's good to see it confirmed that they ARE dumb.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
but i am sort of thinking of joining a gym, and consulting a personal trainer.

i went to a gym for a while once before, decades ago, but the experience was as horrible as high school sports -- with the wonderful exception that i could actually get the hell out of there when i had enough. and i had enough pretty quickly. disparaging looks from fit people, patronizing "advice" from staff, too damn much focus on weight loss, and me caring way too much about exposing my clumsy, ugly body to ridicule. yeah, i didn't fit in real well in LA and its particularly toxic culture of idealized appearance in general.

but i want to get in better shape, and my own attempts at doing so are always fizzling out when i hit a physical setback (the depression doesn't help). i've never done any weight training, and i think it'd be good for me (certainly good for kayaking). i don't just want to get some free weights for myself because i am worried i won't get the form right; i've watched videos, and i think this is one thing where having a teacher right next to me correcting my posture would be better at the start. i want to be stronger, more flexible, more agile, and develop better balance, so a yoga/pilates class would probably also be good. i need somebody who'll get after me when i start to slack, because relying on the paramour or the *poing* to nag me is not something i want to do to our relationships. but i don't want that person to yammer on about "ideal weight" and such crap. i'll never be my "ideal weight" (which i think is bogus anyway), and while i wouldn't mind dropping 30 lbs (because my knees and ankles will be happier), that is not my primary goal.

i've learned a lot since my bad experiences, and i no longer care much what other people think about my body, though i still prefer to struggle with it privately. i know many of the negative signs to watch out for, and i found one gym locally that might be a good match (not ideal, but that would be improbable); their list of good reasons for exercise doesn't even mention weight loss, they feature a safe harbour decal in the sidebar and mention repeatedly that all are welcome, they have a private studio for individual training sessions, and one of their trainers is a woman who was heavy and out of shape into her early 50s -- who, as opposed to the usual athletic go-getters, might actually have some insight into my issues. i like that their pictures feature real members (of varying sizes), not some stock images with plastic smiles, or photos of ripped fitness models.

any of you members of a gym? any tips, concerns, etc? questions i should ask? this is the place. any warning signs?


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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