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Monday, September 20, 2010

Exercise Humor "Window"

Okay my “spiritual friends”, it’s time to pull my head in from the window and do a little exercise… After gaining 20 pounds or more in the last 6 months and turning 61 next month, I decided it was time to get serious about shedding this tonnage rather than go into the next size pants, which would only allow me to expand more. Any of you who have weight issues will appreciate this.

This year with all my family crises, financial failings, and personal relationship shipwrecked, I have not quite lost my sanity, but I have lost a sense of will power, discipline and direction. I have lost “the fire” that once ignited a life here. And yes, I have been indulging in emotional eating… For some reason “spiritual practice” has not been enough to keep the internal fire burning, or keep the hungry ghosts at bay. Yes - I know, medieval gluttony has reincarnated itself here.

You may remember Richard Simmons, the humorous, gay exercise nut? Well it just so happened that I had two of his VHS tapes hidden away in a box from a previous life. I pulled them out several days ago and left them on the counter to remind me that it was time to do something about this self-indulgent food fetish – from a physical perspective. Exercise is a good beginning. I also know I need to look through the inner window…

This morning I woke up and said – today is the day. Richard here I come dahling… I love Richard. He has helped a lot of people who have become muddled in the pig pen – like me. I chose the video entitled: “Richard Simmons and the Silver Foxes.” It was made in 1986. It says it is for people in the years after 50. Most of the people in the video appear to be in their 70’s – which means they are probably dead by now, exercise or not. So of course I thought – piece of cake! No sweat! Nice way to get started – with, as the video says, “a warm-up session, a low-impact non-stress aerobic workout and a 3-minute relaxation exercise.”

We were to take our *resting* pulse first. Mine was already up to 90 – oops. And then it began. Within 10 minutes I was sweating. What happened to piece of cake, no sweat aerobics for the over 50 crowd! I think I’d rather have the piece of cake at this point, but I realize that would defeat the purpose and I keep going… Richard has us take our pulse again half way through: 128. Well I’ve certainly reached the aerobic level! And we keep going. I can feel the heart pounding. I keep sweating. And we’re hardly doing anything! I mean these 70 year olds on the tape are smiling and bouncing to the music like it was nothing. I’m thinking, how many more minutes does this last! At least I’m not gasping for air - yet!

My brother’s nickname for me as a youngster was “Crisco – the all purpose fat in the can.” You may remember that commercial as well. Well I hear that in my head and I know I must keep going. I’m sure from behind I am beginning to look a little “Crisco-ish” – so I push on, trying to melt the fat. I think we are about 15 minutes in and I’m ready to lay down. Another 10 mins and it’s finally over! My ending pulse is supposed to be the same as my “resting” pulse, but it is 100+ – another oops. Boy we are really out of shape here. And then he went on! This next phase evidently was the relaxation exercise with chair. My body said – Nope, sorry. I’m just going to *sit* in the chair and cool down. And maybe next time I’ll start with the “cool down” chair exercise first!

And what does all this have to do with spirituality and enlightenment – or window sitting? I have no idea, but if you see the connection, please let me know what it is! I am much more suited for the contemplative life. But I don’t want to be 300 pounds by the time I’m 80 – if I live that long. And doing this kind of workout may actually prevent that – living till 80 that is! Munchies anyone?

I’m going to try Gabriel Roth’s “The Wave” next time…. Dance as “spiritual exercise” – bringing awareness to the *movement* of Life within. That ought to melt away the fat cells in a way that suites my “mystic” nature…

See Grabriel Roth’s “The Wave” on You Tube.



  1. Ahhh Christine...you do know how to make us wake up under the Humor Umbrella! Ha Ha Ha!

    Try Tai Chi Dear Lady...it is much less intrusive and very good exercise, not to mention spiritual in and of itself...I seem to have a DVD around here somewhere...if only I could get my butt off my computer chair too?

    Goint to check out "The Wave" and hopefully it is the arm waving kind, lololol....

    Bless You on Your Health Journey! :)

  2. Grinning at the memories of Richard Simmons! :)

    I agree...Tai Chi is wonderful, as is Qi Gong (Chi Kung), because they are deep, gentle, energy-moving meditations involving the whole body. And walking, too.

    The other part...food. What does all this have to do with "spirituality"? I think eating is a good "mindfulness" practice, for one thing...eating when the body is truly hungry for fuel, slowing down to appreciate each bite. When eating for comfort, paying attention to the movement of emotion, what that is REALLY asking for...go deep enough, and chocolate is rarely the answer. Most often, it's a non-food sort of love. :)

    Big Sweet Hugs!

  3. Akasa ~ your comment made me laugh as well :)
    I have some Qi Gong DVD's that I used to do all the time. Will get those out. Am just thinking they won't get the heart rate up enough to have a "weight loss" effect. I love the gentle, rhythmic movement and flow. I will most likely add these to my "routine." :) Thanks!

  4. OMG Dear Christine...
    It's a sad thing but, bottom line is, I basically don't think we can eat after 50. :O
    Somehow, after some surgery when I was 51, I lost about 25 lbs. That was a gift. Basically it's stayed off but only if I exercise regularly and 'don't eat'. And I love to cook. I'm one of those food network junkies. But the whole thing can be a meditation...the exercise, the cooking and the eating. Sometimes...they can all have the same 'feel'. Emphasis on the 'sometimes' :) Music definitely helps the excercise...I find that anything I can do in my home greatly helps.
    I love this Aero Pilates machine:
    Nice video on this machine...
    Also Lee Holden's Qi Gong for Weight Loss:

  5. Maria ~ I was thinking what does all this sweaty aerobics have to do with "spirituality." I love Qi Gong and have a couple of DVD's that I will get out and incorporate into my "routine."

    You're right, food is a good practice in awareness - in being fully awake. I know this to be true, and yet the unconscious has taken over here. Although, I've already started looking into that inner window to see what "Food" represents for me; why I'm using it as a drug, what am I trying to stuff, what are the holes I'm trying to fill, what pain am I trying to cover/soothe... And yes, it has nothing to do with food. It's that hole in the heart once again... sigh... :)

    I like what you said about "paying attention to the movement of the emotion." That resonates and feels like a good awareness practice. That's why I was thinking "The Wave" would also be a good "exercise" because it will get me in touch with the movement of the emotion inside and let it play out/dance out - plus - hopefully burn off those fat cells! :)

    Heart Hugs, and thanks for your helpful insights here. They are much appreciated!

  6. Ah Leslie ~ Qi Gong for weight loss! I'll definitely check that one out! Thanks :)

  7. Your words..."Food" represents for me; why I'm using it as a drug, what am I trying to stuff, what are the holes I'm trying to fill, what pain am I trying to cover/soothe... And yes, it has nothing to do with food. It's that hole in the heart once again... sigh... :)
    This definitely speaks for me Dear Christine. Thank you again for these precious MirrorPosts.
    It seems, at least for me, that heart rate and caloric burn are necessary for actual weight loss. For this a recumbent bike with a bunch of music seems to fit the bill. 30 minutes burns about 230 calories -- That times a few days a week adds up.

  8. As usual a pithy, honest post with lots of fun thrown in to entertain us. And of course we can all see ourselves in comfort seeking mode.

    So much of what you say is all about spiritual practice: awakening to the fact that you want to do something, being honest with yourself and grasping the will to do something about it.

    There is a book called "Mindful Eating" by Jan Chozen Bays, a zen teacher. I haven't read it but thought it sounds really interesting. We all need a little motivation in working with our "addiction" of choice. Many bows to you. And say hello to Richard for me.

  9. Hello ZDS! Good to see you here!

    Yes I see the aspects of spiritual practice in what you say. Time to wake up and smell the coffee - or is that the roses. Denial only goes so far... Tight pants don't lie :) Thanks too for the book recommendation!

    I hope things are going well with creating a home in your new space...

    As always, I appreciate your presence! C

  10. I agree with Leslie: no eating after 50 o'clock! You can eat all you want after that. :-)

    There must be something going on in the multiverse because on Sunday I decided I had had enough of this year of sloth and torpor. So, it's intention and goal setting time (take a gander at Jomon's posts on intention btw).

    My goal is to walk four days a week and do my weights training the other two. For me, I've set a kilometer goal but actually anything that keeps you moving for 30 mins is great. The most likely reason for not sustaining the exercise is ramping up too quickly and getting discouraged or injuring yourself. So... slow and steady.

    Keep it fun, change it around, mix it up. Focus on recovery time which is the best measure of resilience. Tai chi is awesome as is yoga.

    Oh... eat lots of fruits and veggies too. :-)

    Keep posting about it so we can all cheer you on!

  11. Hey Genju! Thanks for the encouragement!

    My you are ambitious! I'm dying today after only 2 days! (and not in a row). There are muscles in places I never realized before. :)

    Oh yes - there will be more posts to come! :)

  12. Here's a BIG downside....no carbs :) Not one. No bread - except the extremely complex stuff.
    No pasta.
    No potatoes...although yam fries are just fine (lots of olive oil, S & P & rosemary.
    No high-glycemic-other-stuff.
    AND then you have to work your buns off.
    But this can be done with spacious Awarenss. That is where I need the weight off. All of it. Nothing left. So in 30 minutes I'll be joining you at the window...Dear Heart of Hearts.

  13. Ah Leslie ~ Yes - spacious Awareness... Am working on that too :) Window sitting in 5 mins for sure... Sleep well... :)

  14. XOXO...thank you Dear Christine. And for your amazing newest post. Have to get ready for work so I can't adequately express my gratitude for all this right now. But...
    HOLD ON!! I'm a few 'window sittings' behind. Last night and some this morning there was a greater blurring. A deeper feeling of Being....YES!
    XOXO :)


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