Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lady Bits!!!

EDITED! SEE BELOW!
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You were right and I was stupid.

But first, an update about the dress.

The answer is: No. I did not wear the dress over the weekend. But before you get all mad and/or disappointed in me, hear me out.

On Friday afternoon after your lovely comments poured in, I went upstairs and decided to put the dress on. I was feeling good, and assured, and ready to commit to wearing the damn thing.  So on it went, and then I decided to look -- really look -- at myself in the mirror.

And as much as I wish I could give you a sweet, heartfelt story about how that moment was the beginning of my owning my better-but-still-changing size, it was not. I cannot.

Instead, I have to tell you that it's a VERY good thing I decided to put the dress on again because I had never looked at it close up before and hadn't, therefore, realized that it doesn't actually fit me.

I mean, I can get it on and buttoned. But the part of the dress that buttons across my waist? It's tight. So tight that when I'm just standing in the dress, it pulls the fabric between the buttons into concave ( )'s.
 o
( )
 o

Like that, kinda.

And maybe you're wondering how I didn't notice this before? Well, okay, that's a fine thing to wonder.

The reason is because when I am wearing the dress, I can't see the part of my body directly below my boobs. (Let's be honest: unless I'm leaning forward, I can't see my feet.)

So my big booby lady bits got in the way of my noticing the dress didn't actually fit my waist after all. SIGH. (I guess I never looked long or hard enough in the mirror to notice, either.)

You can bet there'll be an update once I DO manage to fit into the dress.

MOVING ON TO WHY YOU'RE RIGHT AND I'M STUPID.

Remember how I was all, "Should I try a spin class?" and you were all, "OUCHY! NO! IT'S HARD AND IT WILL HURT YOU!" Guess who didn't listen.

Yesterday I decided on a whim to try my gym's "Intro to Spin" class. I figured it would be like, Spin Lite. Maybe there would be other overweight people in the class who were also afraid of trying a full-blown spin workout. Maybe, I thought, we would bond. Maybe the instructor would be kind and gentle and encouraging.

Or? Maybe "Intro to Spin" should be called "Spin For People Who Want To Fit All The Insanity of Advanced Spin Into 30 Minutes."

There was nothing "Intro" about it, except for its 30 minutes-ness. There was no kindly, welcoming instructor. There was no explanation of how to do things we were barked at to do. There were zero overweight people in the class.

And holy God, but oh my oh my OH MY LADY BITS OOOOWWWWW.

Those seats are super incredibly painful. What in the wide world of workouts were people thinking? Why is this done? Why is this okay? When did everyone become completely nutso?

I will grant that maybe it's because I weigh more, but really? I am supposed to balance my entire body on my, shall I say, "inner bum cheeks"? Because short of balancing on a curtain rod in mid-air or kickboxing while sitting on a bathroom plunger, I can't really think of anything less comfortable.

I lasted 20 horrible, excruciating minutes and then I gave up. I just got off my bike and walked right out of the room.  I then waddled, looking as bowlegged as someone who'd just been horseback riding for two weeks, to a recumbent bike, sat my big butt down in it, and finished off the 30 minutes.

Water Aerobics

Hip-Hop Dance

Intro To Spin

What's next...?



P.S. You'd better believe I am soooooooooore today. Any workout class that makes sitting this unpleasant is off my list for good.

EDITED TO ADD...
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I feel I need to clarify two things.
1. The part that hurts isn't a muscular hurt. I mean, yes, I am sore from the whole 20 minutes (+10!) that I did in class, but that's fine. I like the muscular hurt. That is a good hurt. 

The hurt I mean from spin is a bruising, painful hurt. It was so uncomfortable during class that I was nearly brought to tears and today, two days later -- after only 20 freakin' minutes -- it still hurts to sit. Not muscle hurts. LADY BIT HURTS. BRUISED hurts. 
 
Oochie in my coochie hurts.

Maybe some folks can come away from class feeling bruised and think that's fine -- all part of the "no pain, no gain" rule book.  I get that. But no. Not for me. I don't mind some pain, I don't mind out-of-breath, I don't mind sweating, I don't mind having to push myself to get the workout done.  That, to me, is different from verge-of-tears pain. Bruise-y pain is not something I will want to go back and do, even if eventually it won't hurt as much.  It's just not worth it to me when there are so many other kinds of exercise out there.


2. I have lost weight and gotten in shape before in my adult life.  I remember what it was like and I know what kind of work it takes. BUT.  I've never taken exercise classes before. This is a new frontier. 

I just want to make clear that I am not clueless about -- or new to -- exercise. I am just new to classes.

37 comments:

  1. My thing about spin is the sore isn't a good sore, like "WOW such a good workout and now I am sore." It was a "Hubs is not coming anywhere near my lady bits for days" sore. Which is not satisfying AT ALL. Holy crap hurty crotchal region. Never again!

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  2. I just laughed so hard I cried.
    Thank you.
    So sorry for your pain, really, I am, but thank you so much for the giggles. :-D

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  3. So, the first time I did spin I was in college and at a normal weight. I took a spin class and the next morning MY GOD! MY BUTT! I think once you're past 8 years old and not riding a bike for hours each day, your butt bones just aren't used to that kind of abuse. I feel your pain, Kristy!

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  4. Alright, so, I won't be trying spin class. Thanks for the heads up!

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  5. I think you are suppose to wear some special padded biker shorts? I don't know I only did one spin class in my life, years ago. I was PATHETIC. It was 50 minutes of pure hell. Never went back.

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  6. You're funny! I don't think I'll be trying spin any time soon either! Have you thought about Yoga or Tai-Chi? Neither are high-impact, but it could be the good start. Most people hear Tai-Chi and think of old people in the park, but the people in the class I took years ago were around my age (I was in my 30s) and the instructor was a 5th degree black belt in judo before taking up Tai-Chi. It was a great class and we actually worked up a sweat!

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  7. Oh, there's not just special shorts. There is special CREAM that you put on the pad of the special shorts too.

    I like spinning, but I get how it's not for everyone. I'm also one of those people who enjoy exercise, but it wasn't always that way. I had to start by finding something that I would rather do than, oh, stab myself in the face - which in the beginning was pretty much nothing. I think it was weight training that finally converted me, but I'm not sure.


    But yeah. Spinning will make your bits hurts. A whole freaking lot. It's almost like you have to break in your nether regions, which is weird for something you do for fun.

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  8. Things you might want to try:
    - Wear ankle weights around the house, especially while you're cleaning/vacuuming.
    - Whatever exercise class that is at an "off time", e.g. 2:30 in the afternoon. The people are less likely to be gung ho exercise nuts and the instructors are usually similarly more laidback.
    - Dance-ercise DVDs. It's about gusto and looking ridiculous in the privacy of your own home. Bonus points if you can make your daughter laugh with your dance-ercise antics.
    - Hula hoop.

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  9. Yeah, damage to the lady bits is why I hate spin classes. They are a great workout, but hurt too much.

    Kickboxing class?
    Zumba?
    Kayaking?

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  10. Any of the martial arts -- join a dojo or dojang, or whatever it is called in the particular discipline, and go from there. It's cardio and strength, and it starts easy(ish) and increases over time. And anyplace that isn't supportive and welcoming of you because of your size isn't someplace you want to be.

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  11. When I did spin regularly a few years ago, I was always the loser of the class who had to show up with her own cushioned bicycle seat cover and special shorts that have pads built into the inner-cheek area. I was like that kid in the old Charmin commercial. And I just know those assholes with the fancy clamp shoes were laughing at me the whole time.

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  12. Yeah, I took the most beginner yoga class the SoMa yoga studio in walking distance of my home offered, and that first time was on a Sunday night. I couldn't walk without pain until the following Thursday evening.

    I say, good for you for trying. At least now you know for sure it's not for you. I wonder if anyone's ever gone to the hospital for Lady Bits Injuries Caused By Spin Class.

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  13. I've got a dissenting opionion, here, and I know I could just not post, but I really can't stay quiet.

    Excercise is HARD. Period. If it were easy, many of people's health issues wouldn't exist.

    When you go from doing nothing (or very little), ANYTHING you do will cause you to hurt. That doesn't mean you should quit (unless you really strain muscles or cause an injury). The goal is to keep at it until the activity DOESN'T hurt any more. And then pretty soon, you may actually begin to enjoy it. And after a while, you may find yourself pushing harder to actually get some of that "hurt" back, because that means you're getting stronger.

    If you keep with the mentality "I tried this but it hurt/was too hard/too boring/insert excuse here" then you will never get to the point where exercise doesn't hurt.

    As for spinning/cycling, if you keep at it (a few weeks), your sitz bones will adjust and it won't hurt any more. Just a matter of sticking with it. Once you get past that point, you may find that you actually enjoy it.

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  14. well you just confirmed why i would never take a spin class!

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  15. Strangely, I didn't have that problem with spin class. I did notice that the seat was uncomfortable, but after a few minutes I was trying to hard just to keep up that I forgot about it. I didn't have any lady bit soreness after. Maybe it's all my natural passing? Or maybe some instructors have more of the standing torture and less of the sitting torture?

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  16. Weight lifting. There are intro to lifting classes that'll get you off to a good start.

    Grab some wrist guards before you go -- it'll help you hold heavier weights.

    Good luck!
    -m

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  17. Oh hell no Kristy! Spin is painful on the girl parts and the butt. I took one class and loathed it. I found out afterward that a couple things could have made this a much more pleasant experience - adjusting the seat height and having a seat pad. My friend who is a personal trainer and teaches spin and weighs about 90 pounds says having your own personal seat cover is essential.

    Hot yoga is my favorite workout. The room is dim, our classes are usually filled with newbies AND pros and the intensity of the workout is based on the instructor and how much you're willing to put into it. If you're having an off day you can just flop into childs pose or corpse pose and enjoy the sauna like feel of the room.

    I mean what's not to love about exercise that includes lying on the floor a pose?

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  18. Yoga! Yoga, yoga, yoga! You asked what's next, try yoga!

    And here are a few tips from me, a yoga beginner turned yoga enthusiast turned yoga instructor - start with a beginners Vinyasa class. In a class like this, you can generally expect a lot of stretching, introduction to different postures, and maybe a short flow (moving between postures quickly).

    If you just walk into any random yoga class, with no explanation as to its level, then you could get anything. You could get hot yoga (Hatha, Bikram) which is when the temp in the room is 98 degrees or above and the humidity is 60% or above (this is a great workout, but probably not my recommendation on where to start due to the...um...massive sweating and general difficulty to breathe at first). You could also get an advanced Vinyasa class, which is moving rapidly between postures with little to no explanation, arm balances, and lots of bendy tricks. This could also be discouraging for a first try ever. You could also go to the other end of the spectrum and get a Yin yoga class, which (to me) is not exercise at all. It is great for the mind, and for relaxation, don't get me wrong. It is definitely yoga. But it isn't, per se, a WORKOUT.

    Instead, look for a beginners Vinyasa yoga class. Try it out, talk to the instructor before class and let them know you are just starting out. If she/he doesn't assure you of what you'll be doing, give you encouragement, and offer modification for more advanced postures, then you just got a bad instructor, so mark that person's name off your list and try again!

    If you have any questions at all, really, feel free to email me. I would be more than happy to answer anything, or even to suggest yoga instructors/studios/classes in your area! Yoga is awesome. You just have to find the right type of yoga for you.

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  19. How about dance? You like music, and beginner levels are good to build coordination. Try to see if any studios offer adult beginner tap or jazz.

    I've been tapping for the last three years (after a 20-year hiatus) and it's a good workout and you really have to focus your brain. This year I gained enough confidence to look in the mirror...a huge step for a big gal like me.

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  20. Oh darling, I'm so sorry! I was afraid this would happen based on what I'd heard about spin. /hugs I hope you feel better soon. Best of luck finding a class that suits you. I have been afraid of signing up for one for just that reason...

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  21. I tried spinning class, and experienced the "ouchy lady bits" as well.... I was really disappointed, because I thought I would really enjoy the spinning class if it wasn't for the PAIN! It hurt for DAYS! Couldn't hardly walk, couldn't sit without wincing...

    Then, one of the other class members told me to go get a padded bike seat cover and use that on the hard seat. So I trekked off to K-Mart and bought one. It made a whole world of difference! So now I can actually go to a spin class and get a good workout and not hobble around for the next couple of days!

    So - - if you ever do decide to try spin again, I would highly recommend getting a padded bike seat cover to carry with you. It might make all the difference.

    But if you don't, that's okay too. Not everyone likes spin. :)

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  22. A) I like that you mention "lady bits" twice. Three times if you count the title.

    B) You have biker's butt. I mean, it's not really your butt. And it will hurt for probably 4-5 days. At this point, just be glad you're not a boy w/ man bits to be a-hurting.

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  23. This was so funny! I also want to let you know that you are not alone in that particular soreness you experienced. I don't know who designs those bike seats, but it is terrible for me too!

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  24. Hiiii!

    I second all the comments people made about padded seat covers, padded shorts *and* the fact that you do get less owie, the more you do it.

    But a 30-minute intro to spin should have been kinder & gentler, dammit!! I also second the dance class idea someone mentioned. Kickboxing is super fun, too.

    I looove yoga, but it does take some time to learn all the poses (and boy does it make one aware of the size of one's boobies and tummy!) However, there's a really well-reviewed DVD called Just My Size Yoga which should provide great modification ideas for someone just starting out.

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  25. I'm neither an exercise buff nor a novice when it comes to exercising, but tender nethers are not something one should ever be "okay" with after a mere 20 minutes of doing something fully clothed in a room full of other people!! We all have different preferences, be it food, wine or sex, and exercise is NO different.

    Having that said, home exercise videos are a great - I champion pilates and yoga - if you can stand watching insanely lithe, limber and leggy women expertly executing crazy-ass positions. They're an excellent way to work your core muscles and being low-impact, they're GREAT for those of us who are still really working to lose the weight. And it just makes you feel so good. Without slipping ice packs up your skirt...

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  26. Ditto on the yoga. It balances you physically, mentally and emotionally and it's a sneaky workout. I am totally uncoordinated and my version of hell is any kind of class workout. But after only a couple of classes I was stunned to be in tree pose, which is basically balancing on one leg. A few weeks later I got to where I could extend the lifted leg without falling over. Yoga is great because it's based on you being kind to yourself. Great teachings for anyone with body image issues like ME.

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  27. I know not everyone has this luxury, but after trying abs classes, spinning, boxing workouts and zumba in an attempt to find something that didn't make me feel like the elephant in the room...I ended up at the pool. Putting on a bathing suit might just be my least favorite part of each day but I walk out onto the pool deck without my glasses (as in: if I can't see them, I'm invisible) and the minute I'm in the water...blissful weightlessness. I just do as many laps as I can in 45 min. without drowning and try not to worry about the lifeguards judging my gasping, poorly executed front crawl. I realize not everyone has ready access to a pool, but it is a nice workout. My muscles are sore afterwards and I know I'm getting a cardio workout. I guess the point I'd like to make is that you have to find something you like doing...and I think the only way you find out what that is, is by what you're doing: going on a bunch of blind dates with exercise. Good luck.

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  28. Kristi,
    Congrats on branching out in your exercise regimen! I'm going to differ with the recos of several people who have already commented and say that a padded seat cover is about the worst modification you can do to the lady bits. All you need for comfort is padded bike shorts, some "butt butter" liberally applied to your ladybits and about 4 sessions to break in your sitz bones. I've been a lifelong cyclist and been spinning about 15 years. Even after all that time, I still get the ouchy ladybits syndrome the first few times out each season. I promise it goes away! You can find many brands of butt butter at any bike shop (HELLO! NAPA!), but my fave is "Hoo Ha Glide" here http://www.reflectsports.com/saddle-sores-cream.html

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  29. When I finally got up the nerve to go in to a gym and work out and at the same time hire a trainer to help me (no small feat, because my nerve was pretty near dead), I did everything he said to do, including the most excruciating 15 minutes of my life- the exercise bike. OMG!!!! The next time he suggested that I warm up on the bike, I said, "Uh, no, I don't think so." I think he actually asked me why not. Until I read your post, I thought it was just me. A problem that I had. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who suffers from "post traumatic bike disorder".

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  30. I was holding it together until I got to "oochie in my coochie" and then I laughed so hard, I think I mighta passed out for a bit.

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  31. Only did 1 spinning class in my life and it was for 1 hour!! the lady bits were sore for a week..CRAZY! Try zumba, it is fun and people of all skill levels and sizes are in my class.

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  32. I found that if 80% of your weight is carried through your legs, and yes you have to work on this a lot, your parts hurt less but I'm a dude. And yes the dude parts can hurt a lot especially when executing the "jumps" maneuver... So, improving the strength of legs will drastically decrease pain suffered by the rear or "parts" as it were.

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  33. Totally late for the party, but if you want to try spinning again, buy bike shorts first. They're padded so your lady bits will be fine.

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  34. I recommend hot yoga. disgusting, but feels so good. just don't forget to breathe.

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  35. I'm with you. I tried spinning once and thought they were all crazy. Plus, if I'm going to be getting my lady bits all bruised and blistered I'm going to do it on a real bike looking at pretty scenery; not getting barked at by some X-ray exercise nazzi. Plus, if you ever want to feel like an inferior human being, go into a spin class in my town. UGH. All size 0 women who exercise for a living.

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  36. I went to my first spin class last month, I loved it. Don't get me wrong - I smoke like a chinmey and hurt like a mother the next week but it was a good kind of pain for me - lady bits were unscathed.

    What about swimming lengths on your own Kristy?

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  37. Hi there--just wanted to offer up a comment for what it's worth. I, too, am an overweight woman--approx 200 lbs--and I have been taking spin classes at least 3 days a week for 2 years now. I can vouch for the initial pain, but can tell you that it takes about two weeks for your lady bits to calm down and completely get used to the pressure you're putting on them. It helps to buy a padded bike seat (sporting goods stores) but it doesn't fix things--it just takes time for your tissues to get used to it. But from then on it never hurts (or has never hurt me,anyway). And my spin class,and the endorphins, and the people, and the music, are absolutely what has separated me from mental illness the last 2 years. I love love love it. Hope you'll give it another try, just in case.

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