Saved By The Bowflex?

November 21, 2008

Woo hoo, I’ve had another good eating day so far. I had the best burrito for lunch; it had a whole wheat wrapper and was stuffed with fresh veggies and black beans instead of the usual cheese and meat. And again, I didn’t go to the vending machine!

Though it’s only been a few days since I’ve (re)started my weight loss plan, I can already feel some changes. For one thing, I’m definitely losing water weight because I’ve been peeing my brains out. I’m also finding it a little easier to walk. Last weekend, when I went to visit my dad in the city hospital, I literally had to stop to rest at every block — and the subway stop was only four blocks away.  As I explained to my husband, it isn’t so much that I get out of breath; it’s just that when I have a huge, bulging stomach, it puts a lot of weight in the front and my back hurts. I guess it’s somewhat similar to what many pregnant women experience,  But today, I walked without feeling the need to stop. I’m already feeling a little less bulky in my stomach area.

It’s frustrating to know that I’ve taken so many steps backwards (in more ways than one) when it comes to walking and being in shape. It wasn’t that long ago that I was clocking several miles of walking each day. I’d vowed to never get to a place where I couldn’t walk again. And yet, here I am, struggling once more. Why do I do this myself?

Well, I think at least part of the reason is because my beloved gym closed last year. It was right across the street from our home and I adored it. In fact, I don’t know why it took me so many years to finally join up. But once I did, I faithfully worked out there. It was a small, friendly place in the basement of the building and had all the equipment I needed like ellipticals, rowers, weights. It wasn’t anything fancy, but I Iiked its simplicity.

Because there were no TVs or anything high-tech like that in the gym, I used to listen to music and entertain myself by watching my fellow workout fiends. There was the “Mouthbreather”; she’d do over an hour on the elliptical, keeping her mouth open in a huge, gaping “O” the entire time. She looked very much like the person featured in that painting “The Scream.” Then there was the “Woot Woot Girl.” She liked to motvate herself while using the elliptical by waving her hands in the air and shouting, “Woot, woot, woot!” “Cell Phone Lady” wasn’t as entertaining, but it was difficult to ignore her. She’d stand on the treadmill, motionless, and talk on her phone in a loud New Yawk accent. “Omigawd! You won’t believe what happened at the awwfice today!” And then there was Mike. Ah, sweet Mike. I couldn’t even think up a good name for him. He was the resident workout-aholic. He’d do about two hours on the cardio machine, boasting about his stats as he did so. But what made him really annoying was that he’d SHOUT ACROSS THE ROOM TO HIS BUDDIES TO DISCUSS SPORTS!!! Ugh. A little drama ensued when Mike ironically reamed out Cell Phone Lady for being too loud. Yet no one ever bothered to tell Mike to shut his trap.

During the year-and-a-half I spent at the gym, I got into decent shape and was devastated when it closed down so the building could add more parking space. I joined another nearby gym, but it absolutely sucked and I didn’t go. Bally’s and New York Sports Club are very expensive… and without a place to work out, I began to spiral out of control.

The good news is, we recently purchased one of those Bowflex home gyms! It takes up the entire living room and looks like a torture instrument, but my husband and I are both enjoying it. Instead of traditional weights, it uses resistence rods — and let me tell you, they really work! Bowflex recommends doing 20-minute workouts and you definitely feel it, even after that short amount of time. I like to do a few exercises at a time, two sets of each; with over 60 exercises to choose from, I’m never bored.

I’ve taken to working out in the morning. I like feeling like I’ve accomplished something by the time I get to work. Also, reruns of Saved By The Bell are on at that time.

Yes, I still watch that show and yes, I still have a little crush on Zack Morris and his gigantic cell phone (Imagine if Cell Phone Lady had gotten her hands on that?). But my real reason for watching is I like having something silly on to keep my workouts fun. Music doesn’t work as well for me when it comes to doing a weight training workout, but SBTB does the trick.

Now that I’m back on program, I’m determined to use the Bowflex more religiously. And with Screech and Mr. Belding as my workout partners, really, how can I fail?