Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Keeping fit

As a musician, there is not really much emphasis on my appearance. Of course, I'm not just a musician, though. I have to keep my appearance up for my job as an "entertainer".

I go for hair appointments every few weeks. I'm between hairdressers at the moment and need to shop around which is stressful. It takes a few hours to update my colour and foils and then every couple of visits I have to get a trim. At the moment my hair is quite short and cut for curling up. It's fun, but I'm ready to go back to the straight blowdry. That means a whole new colour concept - probably less dramatic foils and more even distribution. The colour is a semi-permenant so it will fade if I decide to stop. Sometimes there is bleach involved with the foils, although they can be dyed back very close to my normal colour if I get fed up with them.

I don't actually exercise. I quite dislike gyms because there's nothing to look at. I particularly detest the ones with the television. I know I can take music but I don't want to be entertained, it just makes me uncomfortable looking at the same room for 20 minutes and not moving in it, even though I'm moving. But put me somewhere interesting (like a mall or interesting street) and I'll walk all day. This is great for keeping legs toned. I take the stairs whenever I can which also helps. I also drive as little as possible which confuses some people. It's not that I don't feel I can drive well in the city - I just love being out for a walk and walking a half hour or hour to a nearby destination is a privilege I'll take when I can get it.

If I'm housebound, then I try to keep healthy with some gentle toning exercises. I do ballerina-style exercise - squats with various feet positions. I think they're called plies. I also do a few sit-ups sometimes but actually, I find my stomach is incredibly strong and I don't like the look of the six-pack. Similarly, I don't really exercise my arms much as I'm already doing plenty of lifting and carrying which is fine. They definitly aren't soft and that's what counts. Sometimes I even do some yoga, because it feels great. The stretching also looks pretty good, but that's not the main motivation.

I never really diet and I don't weigh myself except as a check every two months perhaps (to maintain objectivity). Since body weight fluctuates so wildly, it makes little sense to do weekly weigh-ins, so it's either occasionally for a basic clue or daily for a moving average. I don't need the moving average, because I really only care that I am healthy and attractive. I am 182cm tall and I weighed myself just now at 62.0 kg. My scale also does body fat with a little electric sensor and guessed about 21% and a quick calculation puts my body mass index at a healthy 18.7. A few months ago I was 58kg so I'm glad I've managed to gain a little. It's mostly muscle tone. If 62kg seems heavy, bear in mind that the same body mass index on a woman of 165cm (about average) gives 51kg.

If I'm really working hard (not practical at the moment) I use stair climbing machines or a cross trainer, but prefer bike riding (as long as it isn't too hilly) or ideally roller blading. My current goal is to just gain a few curves... Kylie Minogue style. We can't all be stick figures.

I said I don't diet. The main reason I've been able to gain much weight is that my energy use is on a rapid decline. Before now I've been eating like a monster and using it all up. But I think I've gained enough so it's time to watch myself again. I've been eating on the run and not thinking about food much. The end result is I either eat too little or too much. I make a special effort to enjoy my food and drink lots of water and some tea. Because I'm vegan, it's easy to enjoy food. And super easy to prepare. Just chop a bunch of vegies, throw in some beans or tofu and make a salad/stirfry/pasta/stew/soup/roast/pie. I eat like that all the time and gain my necessary extra calories from desserts like chocolate pudding, sorbet, spiced tea, banana split, or just fruit.

So that's how I keep fit!

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