Saturday, July 9, 2011

Unconventional "Quirky" Workout

So, I'm almost embarrassed to give out my secret since it's kind of... um... quirky. =) But I was at the doctor two days ago and I have now officially lost 15 pounds in 2 months. How? Heh, well, let's start at the beginning.

About 18ish years ago I had my first real encounter with a serious exercise routine that I pieced together from various sources. It was difficult and tedious and boring but it worked. After my years of serious hardcore drugs I had stopped exercising amongst other things. Then I started getting really sick and that went on for nearly a decade. By the time all this ended I was WAY out of shape. As of early 2010 I had gotten to the point where standing up was difficult. Walking to the mailbox wore me out for the rest of the day. Lifting anything was a challenge.

Finally, over the last year I got fed up with a lot of things in my life in a serious way. So I started out just stretching a lot. All the time really. I'd be stopped at a red light and stretch my neck. I'd be drinking something from the fridge and stretch my legs bending them at the knee so that my heel would hit my butt. Little things like that. Then I started some basic exercising through the day. Like doing calf raises while brushing my teeth or curling the gallon of milk once or twice before putting it away.

Luckily there's a good part to having exercised years ago. An old friend of mine who was a fitness freak explained it to me once and I never forgot it, mostly because it made perfect sense. It's easier to build strength, muscle and flexibility back up to where you once were than it is to start from scratch. Works like this from what I understood. Imagine your muscles as 5 strings (just to be simple and make up a number that's way wrong but easier for example). As you exercise those get as big as they can and do as much as they can. Your body then creates more strings per muscle that also get larger and so forth. Now say you're up to 10 little string things and you stop exercising. They lose their size and shrink but you don't go back to 5, there's still gonna be 10. So when you start up again you already have that part going for you, just have to build up what was already there to get back to where you were. Now of course moving further beyond the point you were is again difficult. However, lucky for me, that time 18ish years ago I was in really good shape. I mean my legs were like no body fat and strong. I could walk in 5 inch heels all night and dance and walk some more for 12+ hours without problems. I could run, jump and climb quite well by the mid 1990s. So all I wanted to do was get back to anywhere close to what I was. Which theoretically should not be so difficult.

Ok, so what was my initial problem when starting up actual exercise last year? After I got past the basic stuff again and was able to actually do more than one squat straight to the ground where I would stay lmao. Well, I've changed a LOT in those last 18 years and the same old exercise routine I use to do was not working. I couldn't get motivated to do it and it was boring and tedious and the more I did it the less I wanted to. Which is the exact opposite result I wanted.

So, I decided to look at it in a new light and go in a new direction. I decided to go for what would be fun, what would be cool. What would likely lead to me being able to do things outside of exercising because of exercising...

Well this is what I came up with. And the first person to laugh will get bitch slapped into next week. Started doing this occasionally since last year but got on a 3 times a week minimum schedule just these last 2 months when I realized that I was gaining strength, stamina and flexibility but not losing weight. Since then I have lost 15 pounds.

For aerobics, stamina, speed, I decided the most fun thing is to dance a lot like a maniac. Not just what would be regular dancing but over the top jumping around and stuff like a total nut. This works surprisingly well for few reasons. First off, since it's not a set routine I can do as much or as little as I want for as long or short as I want to whatever music I feel like at the time. That gets me past the boredom and tedium part. Secondly, this is something useful beyond just exercise as it will lead me back into being able to actually dance when and if the situation arises which is more than likely with current events in my life. On average I can get through 3 songs with me in hyper spaz mode. And if I feel like it sometimes I will just find a decent music video and try to copy it like a little kid might or something. Hyper spaz mode is clearly better exercise though lol.

For strength, flexibility, agility, I came up with something... well odd. Even after doing it for months and finding it works, I myself still find it kinda odd. I've been copying combat moves from movies and tv shows. Yes you heard me. All those moves you see and think, "damn that looked cool." That stuff, for the record, is NOT easy! In fact, the first many times I attempt something new I can't even get it right once lol. What moves, what movies? You name it, Sucker Punch just got added to the line up, Milla Jovovich as both Alice from Resident Evil and Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat (yes I felt the need to type her full name!) from Fifth Element, Scarlett Johanssen as Natasha Romonoff a.k.a. Black Widow Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Iron Man 2, Olivia Wilde as Quorra in TRON Legacy, Ashley Scott as Helena Kyle a.k.a. Huntress from Birds of Prey, and a whole lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Laugh if you want but let me tell you, you jump off of something and try to do either the Sucker Punch landing, the Quorra in the End of Line Club landing or the Black Widow pseudo split during that big fight scene in IM2. Then once you get it right do it again 20 times and tell me that don't make your muscles scream, "oh shit!" Then follow that up with anything involving a katana. I actually own several dozen weapons including a katana, a real one not a plastic prop piece of crap. By real I mean heavy as hell, ivory and gold and sharp enough to screw yourself up if you aren't careful. Great way to lose that flabby bottom of upper arms. Swing that shit around a few times. Nunchaku are also great upper body exercise. And I happen to actually be proficient with them, was trained by a friend like 15 years ago, have had them about 25 years though. Then get some throwing knives, lots of them. After you have some heavy enough weapons go look up or learn what a kata is and memorize a few or do like I have done and make some up based on the above movies. Personally, I made up a few little routines based off the movies since the film's editing ruins a full fight scene most the time. I went not for what made sense as a martial arts move, or for defense or whatever one might normally learn and went for the moves I thought looked coolest.

Which brings me to the next part. Like the dancing this will eventually pay off beyond exercise. When? Future conventions and stuff of course! I fully intend to pwn the costume contest next year at Florida Supercon, mark my words. I didn't watch the actual contest live while I was there but have watched the vids and seen the pics of this year's and last year's. There's one common flaw with 99% of the cosplay costume contest entries I have seen. Even some of the ones with the best costumes fall into this 99%. They don't act! There's almost no roleplay and the little I've seen is poorly done or otherwise lame. There was a really amazing Wolverine & Phoenix combo I saw for the 2010 one where they looked the part and had the poses and attitude but clearly only for a second for the pics because you can see them elsewhere in costume and out of character! To me this is blasphemy. I am a firm believer in people staying in character if they're in costume. Also strongly believe that people should not try to cosplay a character that they don't fit. For example, I would never do Baby Doll from Sucker Punch because I'm way too tall, and just not shaped right. Now, I could do Sweet Pea and probably even Rocket with a wig. Anyhow, I've rambled off topic as usual.

I guess that brings me to the end. I usually have some kind of ending to my posts but not sure what to say here. I kinda went off on a random cosplay tangent and then sort of just finished. Short of it is, dancing around like a damn spaz, usually to Madonna, combined with mimicking super hero moves from movies and tv shows has led to me losing 15 pounds in 2 months. Take it however you want and laugh at my absurd quirky methods but the facts and results speak for themselves if you ask me.