May 26, 2009

Better tUesday: Fitness Before Numbers

Yes, it is BONDAGE TIME at last, but first I have to tell you that it is MAY 26th, and my third novel, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, launches in paperback today, just in time for poolside reading. There it is – top of the sidebar, to the right.
<-----You can click on the picture of the cover to read about it and see reviews, like, for example, the one where Entertainment calls it “a wild, smartly calibrated achievement" and gave it an A-. Or where Family Circle calls it a “spellbinding southern-gothic tale.” (Did you see how smoothly I slipped those in there?)

It should be sitting out in every bookstore in the country, and I strongly believe that you should go get you one. Oh heck, take two, they are SMALL. If you already own your copy, remember that MOST TEACHERS love to read and only have time now, in the summer. Beach reads make excellent end of year thank you gifts.

Release days are exciting. It’s the end result of a couple of years of work, made tangible. You see your book in stores, you feel hopeful that browsing people will notice the cool blue cover and pick it up and read a few lines and like it enough to buy it and give it a try. That’s the upside.

It’s also scary as all get out. Nerve wracking, in fact. You LOVE your book, and now it is OUT THERE in this uncall-backable way and people are going to buy it … or not. Like it and recommend it to their friends and book clubs…or not. My general response to this is to take a pan of brownies to the closet and have my savage way with it. BUT. I am trying to be a BETTER ME, and the ravaging of brownie pans is not exactly heart healthy behavior. Alas.

I am starting BETTER U on MONDAY, JUNE FIRST. If you if you want to do the same twelve weeks I am doing, you need to go register THIS WEEK! Be sure to FRIEND me. After today, I will be blogging about BETTER U on MONDAYS instead of Tuesdays, as we get our new program guidelines for that week. I will also give a small update on how I;ve done that week on Fridays.

The last thing they did to me at the COOPER INSTITUTTE FOR BEING SUPER HEALTHY: was give a me stress test to measure my BEFORE fitness level. I had this darling miniature nutritionist with long glossy hair, slim as a filament, slim enough to be used to pick locks, and she had glowing skin and bright eyes, and I am not saying that she had a tail under her khakis, but if DID have a tail under her khakis you can BET it was BUSHY AS ALL FRICKEN GET OUT.

Basically, this glossy haired bendy straw of a creature took me to see an equally darling, slim and glossy nurse, and she took me to a back room and taped electrode thingies ALL OVER MY BODY. Really a lot of them. In weird places. In fact, after she was finished, I think in some countries she and I might have been legally married.

The nurse took me to a glossy male doctor who was aging in that craggy, tanned, salt-n-peeper, strong-jawed George Clooney way that actually makes men MORE good-looking with each passing year. He did not look like a real doctor. He looked like the excruciatingly good looking actor who gets cast to PRETEND to be a doctor to say reassuring yet sexy medical things on informercials. He was so blindingly man-beautiful that I could only peek at him sideways, lest I go blind. I wondered why they didn’t have HIM attach the electrodes – they would have a heck of lot more female clientele, THAT I can promise you.

Meanwhile, each of my electrodes was being attached (by the nurse, alas! Alas!) to a wire that ran into a Star Trekish machine that was hooting and beeping diabolically to itself beside a treadmill. Then they took this THING and put it on my head. It was…not a good thing. It was, in fact, a terrible, terrible thing.

If an evil snorkel version of an S and M ball-gag made a baby with a medieval RACK, it would be this thing that went on my head. They screwed it on my head and said, “Tell us when it is fitting comfortably,” and then I laughed so hard while trying to say, “UM, why don’t you sit on this CACTUS and I will press down on your shoulders and you tell me when it is comfortable…” around the snorkel part that they had to take it off and start over.

The weird thing was, even after we had the thing on my head, the nurse could understand EVERYTHING I SAID. It was like, she had MAD DENTIST SKILLS. I would say “IIII ISH I HA GAA AA JA AAA-OOO” and she would say, “Well you can go to the ladies room right after.”

Then they put me on a treadmill, and started it off going at a nice, steady, not too rigorous pace. CAKE! Thought I. But every minute, they raised the elevation by ONE degree, so that I started out walking on a flat surface, la la la, but by the end I was marching vertically straight up a treadmillian Killamanjaro. (Say that three times fast.)

I was told to keep going until I my heart exploded and I died. Or maybe I misunderstood. Perhaps they actually said “until it becomes too difficult,” which is po-tay-to, po-ta-to, in my humble opinion. This is me all suited up in my ball-gag bondage gear with a robotic panel making that square JUTTING thing under my shirt and all my WIRES crossed, bravely marching forward:

bondage.jpg


RESULTS
Treadmill Time: 15 minutes and 6 seconds
Maximum Heartrate: 175 beats per minute (!!!!)
Training Zone: During exercise, my goal heart rate should be between 114 and 149

MET level: 10.5. (This is a measure of how efficiently my body uses oxygen. The higher it is, the greater your fitness level, and the more calories you can burn in a workout. With a MET level of 10.5, my fitness level is catagorized as HIGH. (PREEN!) I peeked at the chart and was pleased to learn that my fitness category would still be HIGH if I was 30 – 39. I looked back FARTHER and found it would also still be HIGH if I was TWENTY. So. Well, you know I am an endorphin junky, so WHY am I overweight? Oh right. Genetics. And MAyyyyybe all those hours logged in the closet perpetrating bad acts with the brownie pan…)

If you want to get some BEFORE fitness numbers and do not have access to a stress test snorkel and Dr. Hotness P. Clooney, you can do my BOOTCAMP fitness check. As long as your doc says it’s okay for you to start an exercise program, that is. You know. ANYWAY. It’s EASY.

BOOTCAMP BASELINE TEST

FIRST Do the following three exercises for ONE MINUTE, and write down the maximum number that you can complete in that time. Hopefully, at the end of twelve weeks, all these numbers will be HIGHER! (If you don’t know the exercises, the links will take you to videos that will show you how to do ‘em without hurting yourself.)

Push ups:
31 (I did only 10 Marine style REAL pushups and then had to swap to Girl’s Gym push-ups and did 21 more.)

Full Sit Ups:
33

Dips:
44 (I did 19 REAL marine style dips with my legs almost straight, then had to bend my knees and did 25 more.)

SECOND see how long you can hold PLANK: 2 minutes, 15 seconds. (When I first started Plank, my time was 14 seconds. Plank SUCKS. Then I started practicing plank with my feet braced on something, and then eventually I was Planking alone. Now, my husband calls me PLANK BEAST because I can hold Plank the second longest in my whole Boot Camp.)

THIRD: Run timed laps around something. You do not have to go to a track. You could run around your BLOCK if you wanted, and drive around it after to see how many tenths of a mile your block actually is. I ran my laps around my church building, which is ALMOST a quarter of a mile around.

Lap One: 2 minutes and 30 seconds
Lap Two: 2 minutes 45 seconds (Stop watch said 5: 15)
Lap Three: 2 Minutes and 23 seconds (Stop watch said 7:53)
TOTAL TIME: 7:53 Total
TOTAL DISTANCE: About 7/10ths of a mile.

That’s all our BEFORE numbers. On MONDAY… we begin. Let us now make our best Hayden Panettiere Cheerleader faces and say, “You better Bring it, American Heart Association. Bring. It. On.”



   

Posted by joshilyn at May 26, 2009 8:08 AM
Comments

Okay, I signed up to start on June 1st too! I'll be working at an outdoor drama, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find the time to work out, but my main focus will be on changing my eating habits.

Some of the goals I've come up with include:
-losing X amount of pounds (I know X, yall can't... sorry!)
-being able to run or jog a mile without stopping to walk
-being able to do 10 boy-style push ups (at this moment, I can do ONE)
-feeling better all-around about my body and my self

Good luck to us, posse!

Posted by: Dani at May 26, 2009 9:16 AM

I'm joining you too, but I have a torn achillies at the moment and so I'm just hoping to make better choices about food, do some swimming and hopefully be able to walk farther than the mailbox soon...

Posted by: Jen at May 26, 2009 9:43 AM

I am willing to bet that my MET level is somewhere around... 1. Or maybe 2, on a good day. As such, I am going to skip the rest of this and hide in my closet with some gluten-free brownies. Goodbye!

Posted by: Mir at May 26, 2009 9:53 AM

Like Jen, I'm joining you too but without the posting numbers and exercises bit. I will walk further than my mailbox and I promise to not eat entire pans of brownies. Does that count? Oh and I promise to go to the beach tomorrow and swim and boogie board and eat ham sandwiches. Take that, BetterU!

Posted by: edj at May 26, 2009 9:54 AM

I am going to the gym tonight and will do the boot camp test. :) Will report back later with numerical data.

Posted by: Jess at May 26, 2009 10:08 AM

I'm going to gather my numbers tonight!

Posted by: Tammy at May 26, 2009 10:44 AM

I would be happy to friend you if I could figure out HOW to friend you. Maybe I'm slow, but I just can't see a way to do it.

I've been walking a LOT this past week. I managed to hit 10,000 steps the past two days. Today will be a challenge because I'm back at work. But I lost weight in the past week and I feel better already!

Posted by: Aimee at May 26, 2009 10:45 AM

In mental preparation I am trying to get off the diet Coke. I always do better that way.

I haven't had one since Friday at lunch. Amazingly, I am not incapacitated by headache, although I have had about a pot of coffee a day.

I will collect numbers in the next few days but they are double secret.

Posted by: Jen at May 26, 2009 12:19 PM

Ok, so I've decided I'm doing this with you.

Before-in-Numbers:
BMI: 22.4 (so that's "healthy weight", but just barely)
Weight: 131 lbs
Height: 5"4'
Heart rate: 83 BPM. I kept taking this over and over trying to make it go down (but it didn't). This is juuuuust past "healthy" range.
Blood pressure: I'll let you know when I know.
Waist line: 32 inches

BOOT CAMP Results:
Push-ups: 29.5 (I only get half a point for that last one because it was more a desperate attempt to get to 30 push-ups before time ran out and a epic fail at that...)
Sit-ups: I did 20 with 2 seconds left and instead of fighting for that last one I laid down all gaspy and out of breath. Ugh.
Dips: 19. First time ever doing those devils and I hated them. Congrats. I probably didn't go down as far as I needed to but ... I tried.
Plank: A little over a minute. Like a 1.10. And dying.
Running: I can run a mile in 10 minutes. I know this to be true. (That's what playing soccer for 4 years can do to you.) And I have to go pick up my little sisters from school VERY SOON so I'm not putting it to the test (right now).

I don't know my cholestoral and glucose and THOSE WEIRD CHEMICALLY NUMBERS stuff because I didn't go to the actual doctor to get these numbers. (I did use Wii Fit to find my BMI and weight, though.)

My goals? I want to lose 10 pounds. TEN POUNDS. That's not too much to ask. AND more than anything I want to be healthier. That's the breaking point for my decision. I'm still in college, so I exercise very half heartedly and make poor eating decisions, and my WEIRD CHEMICALLY NUMBERS and heart rate are probably terrible. So that's why I'm joining you guys on this quest.

I'll be blogging about it over at my LJ. Looking forward to this adventure!
<3

Posted by: Emily at May 26, 2009 12:59 PM

Ok, so I've decided I'm doing this with you.

Before-in-Numbers:
BMI: 22.4 (so that's "healthy weight", but just barely)
Weight: 131 lbs
Height: 5"4'
Heart rate: 83 BPM. I kept taking this over and over trying to make it go down (but it didn't). This is juuuuust past "healthy" range.
Blood pressure: I'll let you know when I know.
Waist line: 32 inches

BOOT CAMP Results:
Push-ups: 29.5 (I only get half a point for that last one because it was more a desperate attempt to get to 30 push-ups before time ran out and a epic fail at that...)
Sit-ups: I did 20 with 2 seconds left and instead of fighting for that last one I laid down all gaspy and out of breath. Ugh.
Dips: 19. First time ever doing those devils and I hated them. Congrats. I probably didn't go down as far as I needed to but ... I tried.
Plank: A little over a minute. Like a 1.10. And dying.
Running: I can run a mile in 10 minutes. I know this to be true. (That's what playing soccer for 4 years can do to you.) And I have to go pick up my little sisters from school VERY SOON so I'm not putting it to the test (right now).

I don't know my cholestoral and glucose and THOSE WEIRD CHEMICALLY NUMBERS stuff because I didn't go to the actual doctor to get these numbers. (I did use Wii Fit to find my BMI and weight, though.)

My goals? I want to lose 10 pounds. TEN POUNDS. That's not too much to ask. AND more than anything I want to be healthier. That's the breaking point for my decision. I'm still in college, so I exercise very half heartedly and make poor eating decisions, and my WEIRD CHEMICALLY NUMBERS and heart rate are probably terrible. So that's why I'm joining you guys on this quest.

I'll be blogging about it over at my LJ. Looking forward to this adventure!
<3

Posted by: Emily at May 26, 2009 1:01 PM

I've signed up but can't find anywhere to "Friend" you. Maybe I'm not looking properly.
But i have been looking forward to today to buying TGWSS to send to my sister who lives in Israel.
I suppose I should be sending more than 1 copy so she and her friends could all read it at the same time. Hmm. Thinks.

Posted by: gillycat at May 26, 2009 1:18 PM

Hey Joshilyn - clue me in. I went out and logged on (had already registered) and it said to choose a Monday but on the calendar they were all blocked out so you couldn't choose one. And you can't go to the next step without choosing one. Help!

Posted by: Jill Cooper at May 26, 2009 1:45 PM

Nevermind...guess I can't start in May LOL Figured it out.

Posted by: Jill at May 26, 2009 1:46 PM

I can give you my numbers right now, without any of that annoying actual exercise.
Push-ups: zero
Sit-ups: about two
Dips: about one
Plank: something less than two seconds
Laps: distance doesn't matter, my time is eternity

Posted by: kmkat at May 26, 2009 1:46 PM

I can;t figure out how to friend either. It can;t be hard -- I am CONFIRMING friends right and left so SOME OF YOU figured it out -- if you did, then LUCY, you have some splainin to do, right here!

J

Posted by: Joshilyn at May 26, 2009 1:54 PM

I'm part of the posse - joined up late in your last post, posted some numbers there. Worked out three times since then (pilates Fri., exercise bike Sat. and Sun.) which is very good for me since I've been on Exercise Hiatus since the fall. Also, I took my measurements - something I've never done through my previous Weight Watchers adventures - and logged them on WW. This is good b/c now I can keep track for those sad weeks when the scale isn't showing the loss but you know you've made progress.

The only one you asked for was waist - mine is 35, which is juuuuust on the good side. I was surprised it was that good, since I'm at goal weight + 40 or so, but I'm still hourglassy, just a bigger hourglass all around, so the waist is still proportionally small. Want to get that number down, and definitely want to get the bust, arms, hips, and thighs numbers down.

Posted by: Genevieve at May 26, 2009 5:12 PM

I remember reading somewhere that Coke bottle shapes are at lower risk for heart disease than apple shapes---I will have to find out oif that is true. I;m hour glassy myself, little in the middle but the butt is....

sadly not round. Wide and flat as Kansas. I have a TERMINAL case of white girl butt, and Mix-a-lot would not pull up fast to retrieve it.

Posted by: Joshilyn at May 26, 2009 5:40 PM

I'm in! I signed up last night and wanted to "friend" you but I can't seem to do it either.

As for my numbers...well, I'm still in the process of putting them together for weight, waist, exercise tests, etc. Suffice it to say too much, too big, and not nearly enough.

I'll be blogging about my progress though. And, I fully intend for there to be A LOT of progress over the next 12 weeks!

I'm excited thinking about all the posse-bilities for all of us over the next 3 months!

Posted by: Charmi at May 26, 2009 6:08 PM

Happy Launch Day, Whoodie.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at May 26, 2009 8:58 PM

I left you a message on your betteru that I can't friend you. I hope we can be friends soon. I'm so excited to be in your beloved posse!

Posted by: Nik at May 27, 2009 3:48 AM

To add friends at Betteru, go to community, browse friends, find people and then you can add them. I'll post my goals next Monday.

Posted by: Marjorie at May 27, 2009 7:42 AM

Umm. I meant browse members, then friend them. It's on the grey band across the center of screen.

Posted by: Marjorie at May 27, 2009 7:43 AM

I am able to BROWSE with no difficulty. But I do not see any friend option on the gray bar, or anywhere else. I am logged in, and now officially aggravated with the site.

Posted by: Aimee at May 27, 2009 2:45 PM

I'm in the posse! I just signed up for the program. Had my fitness assessment done last night, results due soon. Now just have to have cholesterol checked. :)

Posted by: Vicki at May 29, 2009 1:48 PM