Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How much is enough exercise?

So I've gotten to the point where I'm working out way more than I ever have before. I think the "fittest" I ever was must have been when I was on the swim team, swimming laps endlessly for the amusement of nobody. I wasn't very fast, I never really won anything, and I was still fat, BUT! I could swim those laps over and over again and I didn't really get winded, so I suppose I must have been in okay shape. Under all the fat.

Anyway, nowadays I work out four days a week. Five, if I'm not going to band practice. I go during my lunch break and usually the folks I work with are generous toward me (as I am toward them) and we let each other extend our breaks a bit longer than an hour. This allows me to do everything I feel is necessary in the gym, so, I spend half an hour lifting weights, and then thirty to forty minutes doing cardio. Half of that cardio is sprint training on the treadmill, where I alternate running 8MPH with jogging at around 5MPH. After the running, I do the elliptical and alternate heavy resistance with light resistance. I switch up the amounts I do of each, every day, to try and trick my body into burning more calories. Recently, I've increased the amount from burning 300+ calories to 350+. Today, I'll probably be doing 400+.

(Here's some information on sprint training and why it's more effective vs low intensity cardio.)

After all this, plus not eating meat and eating very healthy throughout the week, I still haven't lost any weight. Willy told me something very helpful, last week. He said that I should try to look for the positives instead of the negatives and that my self-destructive thought process was causing me unneeded stress. He's probably right, so I started trying to look at the positives, but it's still difficult. This morning, I had my breakfast and thought, "It's okay that I haven't lost any weight. Maybe this is just how I'm meant to look. I'm very healthy, so a little extra fat on my thighs isn't killing me."

Then I went and read an article about another female vocalist for a metal band. Alissa White-Gluz is the lead vocalist of The Agonist, who also does guest vocals for Kamelot. She's a vegan who works out for three hours every day.

Three hours.

Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist
And she looks physically perfect, which just gives me someone else to compare myself to. Why can't I be that perfect looking? It's not fair. I don't have the time to work out for three hours every single day. When I get home, it's around 7pm, which gives me just enough time to cook dinner, work on graphics, and go to bed. How could I possibly fit more exercise into my routine? As for veganism, it's bad enough that I'm pescatarian right now and unable to lose weight. I can't imagine what restricting myself even more would do.

Now, I could chalk all this up to "different body types" and just say, "Don't worry about it. Everyone is different, you're made to look this way". But what I'm really thinking is just "You're not trying hard enough."

And that's what it always boils down to, in the end. I always feel like I could be doing more to lose weight. There's something I haven't found, some magic cure for chubby thighs, and it's just beyond my reach. I'm not so self destructive that I'm willing to do anything crazy, because like most narcissists, I value myself and my health too much. How am I supposed to sing for an audience and run around like a maniac if I'm passing out from malnutrition? I'm not willing to do that. But there should be something I can do that's within my reach.

Something else I'm fully aware of is the fact that most women who weight train for fitness aren't waify. They're strong ladies, usually a little thick, and I absolutely adore them and how hard they work. So I could be content with the way I'm currently built because as it is, I'm able to lift way more than I used to and run way longer and way faster than I used to. I should be proud of what I've accomplished, but instead I'm still beating myself up because I'm not thin.

So yeah, Willy's right. I'm entirely too negative about myself and it's causing me nothing but stress. At this point, I've got to figure out whether I want to continue beating myself up or try and accept that what I am is okay. Except that accepting what I am feels like giving up. It feels like failure. I feel like a failure.

How messed up is that?

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