Thursday, July 28, 2005

Exercise vs. Me ... The Rematch

Exercise...the word in itself reminds me of its close cousin Exorcize. Let's face it. We exercise and diet for health reasons. Yeah right. Let's be honest...we do it to look better. We want to get rid of something that is mainly evil from our bodies (like fat!), so the comparison to its infamous cousin Exorcize is not that far fetched.

I have had many bouts with Exercise and sister Diet. At times I have thought I've won the match, but no. The dreaded fat creeps up on me. Or maybe I should admit it once and for hasn't been creeping up on me: I've opened the gate and let it in. And usually it comes accompanied by its friends Pizza, Dark Chocolate and Soda.

Well, this time I think I am going to win that match no matter how long it takes! I commit to this last rematch, which is why I dare to type it here. Hopefully I will be shamed into following this point I'll try most anything.

During my lifelong battle with the bulge (sometimes little scuffles, sometimes wars) I have done many things to win. There was the time when someone told me to eat Grapefruit because the acidity would 'melt down' the fat. I thought that was a good idea, but it didn't work. The person that clued me in to this grapefruit madness neglected to tell me that grapefruit also lowers your blood pressure rapidly. This little tidbit I discovered the hard way: Cold sweats, light-headedness and ultimately fainting on the front lawn. Not a pretty picture.

During most of my life I have tried to exercise one way or another. When I was in my pre-teen years I played tennis. That was good, plus I was doing that for fun. I wasn't really overweight then. I had to stop that because I was going into High School and I was studying piano and had no more time. I had to choose and I chose piano. That's when the dreaded pounds started to climb.

I was at a gym during my early 20's and it went pretty well. I had a six pack on my non-existing tummy and I felt great. The problem is that I was obsessed with exercise. But how can that be, you ask? Beats me, but I was. I lost a whole lot of pounds, gained muscle and NOTHING moved about when I walked. Then I stopped. I actually stopped because I was moving to another country, and that was the end of that.

I enrolled again, but I wasn't really into it. There was that one time that I saw in the gym schedule something called Boot Camp. An alarm whistled in my head but I chose to ignore it and decided to try this out. Hmmm...well, keep in mind that at that point I had no stamina, lots of fat and worse - no real desire to exercise, no matter that I am also hypertensive...oh, well.

So there I was, among a dozen or so 'recruits' in this Boot Camp class. I should have known that something terrible was going to happen to me since everyone in there was about a third of my size. I should have known that something incredibly hard and agonizing was about to happen when the trainer came in with a whistle and basically pushed us out of the aerobics room and onto the running track while shouting non-pleasantries into our ears. But nooo...I didn't want to back out, especially since he asked me "Are you in the right class?" In my ears, that was a dare. Oh yeah, I was in the right class alright!

So, he asked us to run around the track 10 times to 'loosen us up'. By the end of my first run about the track, all the rest of the recruits were into their 8th or 9th time, so the trainer kindly told me that I could do the rest by walking fast since I was 'hard-headed' enough to continue. With a smile - ok, a smirk - I thanked him and continued to run. He just shook his head and kept a close eye on me. Obviously, he wanted to be ready when he would have to call 911. In his mind it wasn't a matter of 'IF' but of 'WHEN'.

Once the others finished their run, they waited for me (nice people) and the trainer instructed us to do 4 runs around the track doing walking lunges. Walking Lunges, I found out, were exercises where your hands were on your waist, you bent one knee and took a step at the same time then you would alternate with the other leg. The first 10 times actually felt good. The next 20 were not feeling that great and the last 10 I did were excruciating. I was using muscles I didn't even know I had. At this time, my hair was dripping with sweat and my face was beetroot red. The trainer felt sorry for me, I guess, because he kept asking me if I was OK. I said Yes, of course, contrary to better judgment.

He then took us back to the aerobics class where now, there stood a bunch of punching bags that appeared who knows from where. This part I actually liked, since I imagined that I was hitting and kicking a few people that I know who would really benefit from an avalanche of whoop-ass. Unfortunately, I seemed to like it too much and I used up all my non-existent energy on this punching bag. The trainer asked us - well, actually yelled at us - to do 'Duck Walks' across the room and to crawl back on all fours. Duck Walk may sound funny and it certainly looks funny, but believe me, the consequences of duck walks will remain with me forever. What is duck walk, you ask? Well, basically you squat on the floor and proceed to walk while still actually look like a duck, hence the name.

I did it once across the room and came back crawling on all fours. Not that I wanted to crawl back, I just couldn't come back any other way. I was done for. When I arrived to the trainer's shoes, I fell flat on my face and said very loudly "I GIVE UP!" At that point I should have felt defeated, but to my surprise all my fellow recruits plus a smiling trainer clapped and cheered. "We thought you would give up at the track! We are really surprised! Good for you!". I was then told that all these people in this particular class had been doing this for years. Silly me! I couldn't go back to work for two days after legs were killing me and to this day when I hear Lunge or Duck Walk, I feel faint.

Now, I have decided not to diet, but change the way I eat. I'm going to try small goals, a new one every week, and just change my old ways. I'm trying to enroll my hubbie on this adventure and he has accepted. Not only am I still enrolled at the gym, but I also enrolled in a place called SHAPES that is located about a block away from where I live. It is sort of a strange place where there are about 10 different pneumatic exercise machines alternated with aerobic/cardiovascular stations. You start at one place and do whatever machine or cardio station you are at for 35 seconds and you hear 'CHANGE STATIONS' from a speaker and you do just move on to the next cardio station or machine, whichever is next. You usually get to do the whole thing 2-3 times in about 30 minutes.So, let's see what happens.

Just like Weight-Watchers say: "We hope to see less of you next time!"

Hoping to be fit,

1 comment:

Gill said...

Hi Lizette - Bon Courage for the new regime. I am still struggling with my running - I`m stuck on a plateau! My friends are feeding me too regularly too - I`m not used to 3 square meals every day with desert.

I need to give up cake ...

Gill x