Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Exercise in Sublimation

I went to Target just now to buy a yoga mat. It was on sale for $12. Somehow, I managed to spend over $200. I was feeling reckless and impulsive. When I get like this, it manifests in either of the following two ways: A) Eating too much of something that's bad for me; or B) Spending way too much on stuff I don't really need and can't really afford. Check and check. Not to generalize for over half the world's population, but I think these are pretty typical female coping mechanisms. These past few months at work have been inconceivably stressful (I know, what else is knew, but for reals, it was bad), and there's some stuff in my personal life that's just a tad effed up as well.

Strange, my yoga mat didn't come with a pretty flcwer...

This was a recipe for disaster that almost cost me all the amazing progress I have been making with my healthy lifestyle changes. I gained back six of the seventy-six pounds I had lost, on top of reverting to some of my old compulsive over-eating habits. There's nothing worse than feeling out of control. Especially when you can undo six weeks of hard work and weight loss with three days of poor decisions. I let myself wallow in misery for a whole weekend. Sometimes you just have to. But then last Monday, I got over it. I did laundry, scrubbed my whole apartment (including the shower which I confess had not been cleaned in... let's just say a while), and paid bills. There's something to be said for a cathartic cleaning and organizing purge to reset yourself and gain new perspective.

I'm the life of the self-pity party!

Monday was also the first day I started going to the Burbank Athletic Center. They had a free three-day trial, so I figured I should check out the mythical place known as the "Gym." I'd never really gone to a regular gym before. I was always in sports as a kid, then I went to Curves a few years in high school (apparently they donate to some uber-conservative causes, so boycott them if you can). In college, there was a free state-of-the-art gym that supposedly Kobe Bryant used to work out at, but it was too far to walk to and I didn't have a car. After college, I was too poor to afford a real gym, so I would just go running around the 'hood. But you couldn't do that after dark at the risk of being murder-raped. Then I created this workout, but it wasn't terribly effective. I've been running here in NoHo since about September, but the repetitive motion and hard impact from the concrete really messed with my hip. It was terrifying to me to think that I might not be able to exercise for physical, not psychological reasons for the first time. But perhaps working out on commercial quality machines would fix my joint problems.

Fuck this dude. He makes me vomit.
I wouldn't want to work out at his gym anyway.

It turns out, I frickin' LOVE the gym!!! I can't believe I didn't discover this earlier! Think of how much weight and weight-related aggravation it would have saved if I'd have known that endorphins aren't just a conspiracy designed to get us off our sizable butts in pursuit of naturally occurring uppers. They really do rock, who knew? I always thought gyms were expensive, at least $40-50 bucks a month, but the BAC is actually super cheap at around $10. Even my broke-ass can afford that. I've gone every day for the past week and I look forward to it every time. If you know me at all, you know how crazy that is. They have pretty cheap yoga classes too, which I impulsively signed up for just now to try it. I'm going at 9am tomorrow, so we'll see if I'm just as jazzed on yoga as I am about cardio and strength-training. (I'm assuming Wii Yoga really isn't the same.)

Clearly I can't be trusted with a credit card when I'm emotional.

This initial impulse-buy led to the afore-mentioned yoga mat purchase. Which was accompanied by yoga pants, yoga capris, new sports bras, brightly-colored sweat towels, multi-vitamins, and a bunch of other stuff to get me excited about this new phase in my life. I think this is behavior I learned from my mother. If you're going to make a big change, it helps to buy new stuff to get you mentally prepared. Even though I probably could have made due with the million sports bras and workout clothes I already have, I needed to do this. I will probably regret it when I get my Target card bill, but for now, I'm just stoked to see what all the fuss is about. And it feels good to finally have some control again. Well, I'm still eating too many things I shouldn't, but at least I'm overcompensating for my short-comings with excessive exercising. And it's a lot healthier to take out all my rage and frustrations on the Stairmaster than getting drunk or high or eating a whole tub of cookie dough.


  1. YAY! Gym is fun! I also want to blow tonnes of cash on yoga gear! But alas, I am a tight wad.

  2. It's just so easy to spend money on that stuff. It's even easier to rationalize it because it's supposedly going to help you get into shape. And you can't put a price on your health, right?

  3. Ok, so first impression of my first yoga class: glorified nap. But it was lovely nonetheless. The next one I'm going to try will be more active. I'm worried that it will be too much for me, since even with this uber-relaxing class my muscles were shaking with a few poses.

  4. Since I started going to the gym, I'm dying to go out and buy workout gear and new shoes. I have resisted thus far, but I'm not sure how much longer I can last. water bottle!

  5. A fancy water bottle makes all the difference! Treat yourself to at least that. I like mine that I got for $7 at Target. It has a straw and everything!