I went to the gym today. No big deal, you say? Not so. I’ve had to meet deadlines with my editing projects and had appointments and been tempted by other diversions and have come up with any other excuse possible not to go to the gym for at least two weeks. This morning, though, I couldn’t come up with a single excuse. I’ve met all my pressing deadlines. I have no trips planned for the week. I have no appointments scheduled with my doctor, my dog’s doctor, or the optometrist, unlike most of my days, lately. The weather also offered no hindrance, being sunny, dry, and warm out. I had run out of excuses.
Off I went to the gym. A sign on the door says, “Know that getting here is half the battle.” I had won the first half of the battle; I was there.
I climbed onto the recumbent bike, told it to give me a good workout, and began pedaling. Whoa! Within a couple of minutes the muscles in my legs screamed at me, “You can’t put us through such torture!” What? Two weeks ago I pedaled for twenty minutes with no problem, and now I’m tired after three minutes? That’s what happens when you slack off from working out. I pushed myself to fifteen minutes, anyway. It helped that I could watch the Comedy Channel and some really funny comic, whose name I never managed to get. When he quit, so did I. On wobbly legs, I moved on to the machines, but not without a little bitterness. The darned bike not only tells me my heart rate, how long I’ve been pedaling, and how “far” I’ve gone, it also tells me how many calories I’ve used. Fifteen minutes of pressing those pedals burned a meager fifty calories. To put those calories in perspective, a cup of raw carrots is fifty-two calories. I had not even burned off a cup of carrots!
Resentful that I’d expended only fifty calories while pedaling my heart out, I moved from machine to machine, working out every possible muscle in the human body for more than an hour. Next I slipped into a bathing suit, slid into the pool, and performed fifteen minutes of water aerobics and swimming.
Next came my reward: the spa, the hot tub, or whatever you want to call it. Hot water sprayed through jets that massage my weary muscles. What could be better? I had time to think about calories while I soaked. I keep saying I don’t count calories, but I keep them in mind on my food plan. I know that any time I reduce the calorie count of a meal, I’m doing a good thing, but really, until I watched how few calories my body burns, despite what I consider hard exercise, I realize why losing weight is so darned difficult. It also explains why I absolutely have to get exercise that burns off calories; otherwise, my body stores every calorie I take in and don’t use, and what do we call that storage system? Fat. Yup, big globs of fat. Every roll of flab on my body constitutes hundreds of calories I consumed and didn’t expend.
I came home feeling stronger, happier, and upbeat. I promised myself I’ll get to the gym more often. No excuses!
Yeah, right. Next time I get to the gym, it will be because I fought my own demons and excuses and forced myself to go again. Maybe I should dangle a cup of carrots in front of myself.
Starting weight: 245
Weight last week: 189
Weight this week: 189
Total pounds lost: 56
Goal weight: 150