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Last round of kickboxing class

My last TurboKick class for the year was last night. It’s odd to think that our first session was canceled because of a snow day, yet last night we decided to skip the legs section because it was hotter than Brad Pitt in the school gym. It doesn’t take too long for the seasons to change, eh? There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere, I’m sure. I suppose the heat is why they don’t do a summer session. We’d quickly turn that oven of a school gym into a swimming pool with all our combined sweat.

This was the first aerobics class I’ve ever taken and overall the experience was positive. I enjoyed punching and kicking and flailing around trying to learn the routines. But I don’t think I will sign up for this particular class again because the drive to the location was too far. I got to experience some of the aerobics class clichés – the perky instructor, the husband begrudgingly dragged along by his wife, the girl whose tendons were replaced by silly putty and could stretch her legs back behind her head, and the clique of girls who signed up for the class together. Sometimes as I watched the instructor demonstrate moves on the stage, I imagined she was a video game character in a martial arts title like Tekken 3. I imagined myself rapidly mashing my control pad to control her movements. All that was missing were some sound effects to accompany her kicks and blocks. Pow! Blam!

Mostly I enjoyed that I could simply keep up. Several years ago I tried doing an exercise tape at home and ended up stopping it about 7 minutes in, exhausted before the warm-up was even through. So I found particular joy that I could get through the whole routine and all the abs work at the end while some other people were flopping around on their mats like trout on a the deck of a fishing boat.

Next up: Tennis lessons! I’ve never played tennis in my life, but now I figure I’m fit enough to try. And I get to wear a cute skirt, right? Lessons don’t start until July, so I have a month and a half off to just enjoy my running, weights and Pilates. I plan to keep trying new sports and activities though, for infinity onwards. If I let myself get bored I’m doomed to slack off and gain back the weight. So, by God, I’m going to keep myself challenged and entertained even if it means letting people hurl green, fuzzy balls at my face.

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27 Comments

Jen • May 25, 2007 at 10:21 am

Hey PQ,

Just wondering…I see you’re spending a lot of time exercising now – classes, running, Pilates, etc.. Do you remember what you used to do with your free time before you became so physically active? Do you miss what the old you used to do? Do you notice that exercise has taken up more time in your life or is it something that’s come naturally? Would you call it a hobby?

Since I started losing weight and really being more cautious about what I was eating (and not snacking), I kind of got at loose ends with myself during my free time. I didn’t want to sit at home dinking around on my computer anymore because I had too much energy, so I picked up a part-time job as a cashier and I spend about 20 hours a week in a Pilates stance and a name badge ringing up and bagging groceries and doing isometrics between customers. I figured I’m getting paid to work out, even if it is a very low impact workout most nights and the pay is not fabulous.

On the nights I’m not working, I’m usually bored, so I’ve picked up some volunteer commitments. Summer’s here so I’ll be biking and kayaking more to fill in the other gaps as long as the weather cooperates, but I still get antsy.

Do you get antsy? Is that part of what gets you running or taking the classes you do? Can you comment on your energy level?

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jodi • May 25, 2007 at 11:05 am

i think you’ll enjoy tennis – i used to take lessons in jr. high and then was on the tennis team for a while… i often say i’m going to take it up again but i don’t – maybe i’ll start after i do my 5K in june… :o)

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Heather • May 25, 2007 at 11:41 am

Since your running, why not sign up for a 5km or 10km race for the end of June/beg of July? I found having something to train for really stepped up my exercising and gave me a goal that I had to really strive for. My goal was to finish a 10km in under 1hr 5min. I did it in exactly 1hr 00min 00sec 6th of a sec, lol.

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Laura • May 25, 2007 at 12:10 pm

I love your attitude about fitness. What a great idea to keep trying new sports instead of just running on a treadmill and expecting to stay involved and motivated (sorry to use that bad word) with your exercise life. Good luck with Tennis this summer. I look forward to hearing how that works out for you, because I’ve always wanted to play, too.

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Donna • May 25, 2007 at 12:11 pm

How did you start exercising? I have always been pretty sedentary, but I was always mostly able to keep up with exercise videos or in an aerobics class. The combination of additional age and weight in the last few years has left me breathless just climbing stairs. I bought those “The Firm” work out DVD’s a few years ago, and I couldn’t do any of them. I cringe when I imagine myself “Sweating to the Oldies” but I am even more afraid of being permanently incapable of moving – I don’t want to end up in one of those “Scooter” adult mobility commercials. I know I have to start doing something – how did you start?

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Patty • May 25, 2007 at 1:14 pm

The kickboxing class sounds interesting. I’ve never tried one except for the Tae Bo tapes and they were ok.

I love tennis! I used to play a lot and of course the tennis team long, long ago. But, it’s hard for my and my hubby to play w/ our 5 yr old but we try.

I also like kayaking but it’s not much of a workout except for arms and biking this time of year. Have a great weekend!

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PJ (RightNow) • May 25, 2007 at 2:38 pm

That’s awesome, that you keep pushing yourself to do something new — and that you can so plainly see and feel the difference in how far you’ve come!

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K • May 25, 2007 at 3:25 pm

I’m intrigued by Jen’s comment, because I definitely would call exercising a hobby, and I needed to enjoy it because it was absorbing almost all the time I’d otherwise have spent doing other hobbies.

I write in the past tense because – like all my other hobbies – I literally hardly have time to exercise just now (other than the very basics) which makes me sad.

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Peter • May 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Apropos of Jen’s comment, I often wonder what would happen if I just stopped “dinking around on the computer” altogether.

Except for email, somehow, since you can’t not do it now without people hating the inconvenience you cause them. Maybe the thing to do would be to only run Terminal, and do email in PINE or some other text-based program.

The web has really changed a lot of things, but I’m pretty sure it also helped to lower my level of personal fitness. It may be marginally more interactive than TV, most of the time. But for sheer, unblinking, trance-like, pointing-and-clicking, lowered-metabolic-rate rapture while dancing in a stream of bright electrons for hours at a time, it’s definitely in TV’s league. And that’s not good for the calorie balance.

Anyway, it’s inspiring to hear about actively setting out to learn new sports. I should try to broaden my repertoire beyond “working out,” too, to include things that feel more like playing.

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Sarah • May 25, 2007 at 4:31 pm

I just tried tennis for the first time last week. I had a really good time and would love to do it again. Hopefully you have as good as time as I did. Be prepared to feel muscles in your back that you usually don’t use!

I love that you’re pushing yourself to do something new. I am DYING to take salsa dance lessons or any sort of dance class really. One of these days I’m going to. I SWEAR!

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Chris H • May 25, 2007 at 5:03 pm

OOO, you have inspired me, wonder what sport I can give a go? I have done none all my life! Does chasing guys count???

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Natalie • May 25, 2007 at 7:37 pm

You are living the good life!!! Tennis & Kickboxing classes are my favorite things. I think it will be another several months until I do one of them (I tore my ACL last year IN A KICKBOXING CLASS) and had 2 surgeries last year. But I totally agree with the concept of being adventuresome with exercise and keeping it new and fun. I need to figure out some ways to do that without a healthy knee.

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PastaQueen • May 25, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Jen – That is probably a question that deserves an entire entry of its own which I will try to write next week. The short answer though is that I would definitely consider exercise to be a hobby. It takes time out of my day, but I used to use that time to mess around on the Internet or watch TV, so I consider it a much better use of my day. I wouldn’t say I get antsy, but I don’t want to get bored either, which is why I’m trying new foods and new sports. I have noticed I watch less TV lately, but mostly because I feel like I should be doing something else with my time like exercising or working on my book or other projects. I still haven’t watched the last couple of episodes of Ugly Betty or Veronica Mars that I have taped, which would be unheard of for my formerly TV addicted self.

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PastaQueen • May 25, 2007 at 9:14 pm

Heather – I have considered doing a 5K, but I haven’t signed up for one. I might do that. We’ll see.

Donna – Slowly. I started exercising slowly. Sure, now I’m kickboxing and running and lifting heavy objects, but for the first year I walked and that was it. I didn’t even run because my body couldn’t take it. Then I slowly started to add things in, like Pilates. Do what your body can handle and do it consistently. The more you exercise the fitter you’ll get and the more you’ll be able to handle.

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Kyle • May 25, 2007 at 9:21 pm

I hope you enjoy tennis! My whole life I have always had a stereotype in mind that only cute and fit girls play tennis. So you’ll fit right in!

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Peter • May 26, 2007 at 10:42 am

PastaQueen: What is your choice of cutoff weight for running / not running?

My arbitrarily arrived-at rule of thumb is a B.M.I. of 27.5, but I’m wondering whether that’s too conservative.

I guess a lot might depend on how old you, and your joints, are.

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PastaQueen • May 26, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Peter – I have no idea. I’m not really a fitness expert. I started running when I felt I could. I think I read that when you run your body impacts the ground with about 3 times your body weight, so that should probably be taken into consideration.

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yo • May 26, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Hey PQ — I know how you aren’t putting up weight entries on Saturday now, and I think that’s a great idea so you don’t have to make yourself write the same post of either “yay” or “wow” or “it’s my period” or “i had too much couscous” every damn week.

The only thing i wanted to point out tho, is that as a reader I love being able to easily see the “data set” of your Saturday weigh-ins over time, by scrolling through your archives page. It is really wonderful motivation/info for me, being around your size. Like, the way you blew through the 190s during winter was really cool to see.

So if there’s anyway to continue not to have to repetitively blog about your weigh-ins, but retain those data points for your readers, that would be awesome. Like, for example, next week, you’ll replace this week’s weight in the side bar, and a reader who, say, discovers your blog six months from now will never know the data on a weekly basis from mid-May 2007 till then, even though they can see the weekly progress from two years ago till now. They can scroll through your archive page but will be at a loss from now going forward.

Just figured I’d point that out. Of course, it’s your blog and body, so this is more an observation than any kind of request!!

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yo • May 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Also, PQ — Have you heard about this NUTJOB, MeMe Roth, who appeared on Fox News shrieking about how Jordin Sparks shouldn’t win American Idol because she’s “obese” and sets a bad example for children?

There’s an entry on it on Big Fat Deal, with link to the footage. She’s like this crazy skinny blond woman who runs some kind of anti-obesity group. What a psycho.

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Cris • May 26, 2007 at 4:19 pm

My apologies in advance for veering away from the topic of exercise. Although I must mention that tennis is a great deal of fun and I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures. Do it up Venus Williams style!

Again, apologies for being off topic, but I’m looking for any wisdom anyone has to offer on the following:

While I was at a party a couple days ago, a man (total stranger) noticed that I wasn’t eating anything and wouldn’t quit pestering me about it! He kept making rude comments and even waved food in my face– essentially taunting me, asking me if I was on a diet, etc. Needless to say, I felt quite uncomfortable and regretted the fact that I mustered up the courage to go out at all!(I haven’t been to a party like that in over a year, so my quippy comment machine was a little rusty) Is everybody crazy or something?

As a person in a program for food addicts in recovery, I found it very disheartening that my abstinence from eating in between meals (stringent rule I know, but important for me to uphold) would inspire such a mean reaction from a total stranger.

Has anyone else been pestered about food, diets, etc? If so, do you have any tips or clever quips that might help out? I appreciate any consideration anyone can give.

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PastaQueen • May 26, 2007 at 8:32 pm

yo – I have been thinking about adding a line chart of my weight to the progress page. I posted one once to an entry and a couple weeks ago someone e-mailed me looking for it. I have all that data saved on my computer, so I’ll see about posting it sometime soon.

Also, I haven’t watched Idol since the 2nd season, so I don’t really follow the news surrounding it. I find it’s best to ignore the nutjobs since they usually just want attention anyway.

Cris – That guy sounds like a total turd. I don’t really have any quips for you though. Maybe you could have said you weren’t hungry because you ate his dog before the party. I have to wonder if he has his own weird food issues that he was simply pushing on you.

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Peter • May 26, 2007 at 10:34 pm

If you do make a chart, you might think about using one with a smoothed ‘trend’ weight. (Now, skim or ignore what follows as needed, since dieters’ mileage varies so much and I am a confessed chartaholic.)

But it’s really easy to set up a 10-day moving average for your trend weight in a spreadsheet: column A is measured weights, column B is trend weight. On the first day, of necessity the trend weight is just the same as the measured weight. Every day after that, the trend weight = the previous day’s trend weight, minus one-tenth the difference between that day’s measured weight and the previous day’s trend weight.

It works like a charm–when you graph both the trend and measured weights on a single chart, you can see with beautiful clarity the trajectory of your loss, as it rises and falls.

Otherwise, the stream of daily numbers can be hard to find very definite meanings in, since the varying amount of water weight in the body makes them veer about so confusingly (and, sometimes, so discouragingly).

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Erin • May 27, 2007 at 10:16 am

I like that you have a plan for your time post-Turbokick. Do you enjoy doing all these on a solitary basis, or is there a clique of girls you could drag along to this too?

I ask because I sort of like the voyeurism of going and participating but also being alone enough to watch for the cliches and to slip in and out without a lot of fuss. Toting the girlfriends with me always turns working out into an all day thing. “Let’s go get smoothies! No, pedicures!” I just wondered if that’s your philosophy, too.

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PastaQueen • May 28, 2007 at 11:13 am

Erin – I’ve always been kind of a loner, so I do go by myself. I have no issues with going to the movies along either. However, if one of my friends wanted to come along that would be cool with me.

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Mymsie • May 28, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Fuzzy balls and cute skirts? A surprisingly winning combo!

P.S. Happy Memorial Day! :)

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yo • May 28, 2007 at 8:11 pm

Yeah, maybe a chart would be a cool thing to add at some point for data purposes.

BTW, i think tennis lessons are an AMAZING idea. I might do the same thing actually!

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angie • May 29, 2007 at 10:00 am

Tennis is great! You’ll love it. It’s a good idea to mix up all the fitness activities to not only keep you from being bored, but give you something to look forward to! But, July? Get a good visor or something to wear with the skirt, and cold water. (that’s if you’re outside)

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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