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April 04, 2006

Then and Now

Just a bit of consumer reporting off the top here. I am addicted to these new(ish) Snickers Marathon Energy bars:

These things are so freaking good. They don't really taste like Snickers, though. But they're chocolately and caramely and gooey and chewy and they've got lots of vitamins and minerals (fortified for women, they are), and they actually curb my hunger for a few hours. Walgreens just had them on sale for $1 so I bought a few. If by "few" I mean "15."

The Double Chocolate Nut flavor is the bestest. Honey Nut is merely OK, but still passable.

Also, this is the best sunless tanner I've ever used:

Hawaiian Tropic Island Glow. It's in that class of sunless tanners that are positioned as moisturizers with almost a hint of sunless tanning in them. Everyone's heard of that Jergens Natural Glow stuff, which I tried last year. It worked OK, but I only used it twice because, quite honestly, it smelled like hairballs. And I am intimately acquainted with hairballs, so I know of what I speak.

But this Hawaiian Tropic stuff smells, no kidding, like green tea. It smells REALLY good - I'd buy it just for the scent. It's clean smelling, but not overwhelming. I think even if you didn't really love green tea scents you'd still be OK with this. The point is that it doesn't smell like hot shiny chemical death, which is rare in sunless tanners.

It also works very well. I just applied it for the first time last night, and I could see a difference this morning (I used the shade for medium skin tones).

But now the main point of this post. I had planned on posting an ode to exercise today anyway, but right now I'm having a massive cramp/spasm in my right shoulder, just below the neck, which reminded me I wanted to do this.

I joined the Palm Harbor YMCA at the end of October last year. So it's been five solid months. When I first started my goal was to just go three times a week, and do 30 minutes of cardio. I really hate treadmills (zzzzzz), so I chose to focus on the elliptical machines because I had read they were the most effective. Fairly soon I decided I liked the Arc Trainer best, so I've stuck with that.

Even though it's only been five months, my whole attitude about it has changed. As have the kinds of workouts I'm doing. To wit:

Could barely drag my ass out of bed at 5:30 a.m.Pop right out of bed at 4:45 a.m.
Worked out 3x per week for 30 minsWork out 5x per week for 45 mins (including "Saturday Hell" - 45 cardio/45 weights/30 cardio)
Struggled to just keep going for 30 minutes on the arc trainerLove doing high-intensity interval workouts
Sweat? TOTALLY GROSS.Sweat? A badge of honor.
Cared if I looked like I just got out of bedProudly rocking the bedhead look, 'cause all that matters is that I'm there
Focused solely on not collapsingI have all kinds of goals for each workout and love pushing myself

What really got me thinking about this is the whole sweating thing. I used to hate cardio and avoid it like the plague because I really, REALLY hated sweating. I could never understand how people could ENJOY sweating, or actively, willingly pursue activities that would make them sweat. Well, other than sex.

But now, every time I finish a workout you can tell by looking at me that I've WORKED. I don't see the point, otherwise. When I'm done the back of my hair is all wet, my arms are glistening, and I've got the beginnings of sweat marks on my t-shirt (I don't get drenched or anything - I'm not a guy). I see some women in the gym who barely look winded during their workouts; they finish and every hair is still in place.

That used to be me, which is funny, because at this point - mentally - I'd never be able to do that. If I'm going to get up at the asscrack of dawn and get dressed and strap on my heart monitor and brush my teeth and grab my water bottle and leave my apartment and drive five miles and climb onto a machine and kick my own ass for 45 minutes ... I'd damn well better see some tangible evidence of all the energy I'm putting into it.

And thus, I love to sweat. I have become all the things I used to be suspicious of.

Posted by Highwaygirl on April 4, 2006 12:52 PM to the category Stuff About Me

"(I don't get drenched or anything - I'm not a guy)"

And this is why I've been embarrassed my whole life to be such a sweater. I was a sweaty kid and now a sweaty adult. But people associate that with not being feminine. And it's not something I can really help. Stupid hereditary hyperhydrosis.

So I do sweat and am drenched "like a guy" at the gym, but I try to make myself go anyway. :)

Anyway, glad to see all your great progress!

Posted by: Erika at April 5, 2006 02:26 PM

If I saw a woman at the gym getting as sweaty as most men, I'd think she kicked ass, not that she was somehow less than feminine. And I'd think that I was a lazy slug in comparison.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at April 5, 2006 02:48 PM

You know what's better than a Snickers Marathon Bar? A Hot Pocket!!

Posted by: marcel at April 6, 2006 12:05 PM

Hot Pockets can only be eaten in private, though. It would be inappropriate for me to have one at work (and not something I desire, anyway).

Posted by: Highwaygirl at April 6, 2006 02:27 PM

This might be the most inspirational thing I've ever read. YOU'RE AMAZING.

Posted by: Dinah at April 6, 2006 07:21 PM
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