On March 19 I bought an introductory unlimited membership to a local spin studio. The studio is so close to my rented home in a suburban community that I can leave my driveway at 5:26 and be on the bicycle at 5:30. Despite this level of convenience, I drove by that spin studio for 5 years without once booking a ride.
Spinning is feared by many. I always pictured a group of sweaty fitness freaks in beast mode pedaling on stationary bicycles. I’ve had many friends and coworkers claim to be terrified of even trying it. I took my first class back in 1997 and all I remember from that experience is the horrific pain in my mons veneris. I was told “You get used to it,” or worse “It gets better.” Yeah, that’s what I want. No feeling in my crotch.
It’s also like joining a cult. You’ll hear that a lot too.
Even before I had babies, I worked out inconsistently. I was born athletic, though a very particular type of athleticism. I’m not agile or coordinated. I can’t dribble, serve, hit, or catch a ball. I have endurance and strength. Those two qualities make me a prime candidate for spinning.
I took my first class March 19 and attended 3-4 classes a week until June 20 or so, after which I hit a lazy patch and missed all but 2 classes a week for 2 weeks. It’s really easy for me to become obsessive and inflexible. I have a problem with all-or-nothing thinking. Either I’m working out perfectly or I’m ruining EVERYTHING. I had myself convinced that taking off 4 days in a row had undone 12 weeks of working out consistently 3-5 times a week.
I’d love to be able to tell you that I’ve lost tons of weight and I look amazing, but I haven’t and I already looked amazing. But seriously, I weigh the same and I look better, but I’m toned, not thinner. I feel great when I spin and especially afterwards. My resting heart rate dropped 17 beats per minute in 3 months. I’m beginning to suspect that I can’t eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every night and lose weight. That if I don’t also radically change my diet, then I’ll never see the results I want.
I don’t have a big dream; it’s just a little dream. I want to get dressed every day without having to consider if my clothes make me look fat. Okay, it’s a big dream.
I have struggled with bulimia in the past, so I have to be careful. I can’t count calories or “diet” because it triggers me to binge and purge. I won’t use apps on my phone or other “easy” tricks. Not today, anyway, and not tomorrow. I will endeavor to be less rigid in my thinking and accept the possibility that I will use phone apps or the like at some point. Today, my priority is taking advantage of the opportunity I have to work out at convenient locations that are offering affordable summer/newcomer specials. I start Bikram yoga on Tuesday. I hate heat and I’m kind of “myeh” about yoga, so this will be interesting. My mother was a yoga teacher and she once gave Chuck Norris private lessons. True story. He had to stop chanting “Om,” though because he would create a new universe every time. Also, Chuck Norris doesn’t do sun salutations. The sun salutes Chuck Norris.
Bikram yoga is also called “hot yoga” and I despise the heat. Still, it gets so hot where I live, it might be nice to walk outside after class and enjoy the cool 98 degree day.
I’m challenging myself to work out every day until I go back to work on August 10. This isn’t going to turn into a lifestyle blog, but I will keep you apprised of my progress. I would love to hear about your own fitness make-overs and successes. To borrow a joke from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, let’s all turn our resistance up to “Gandhi.”
Am I first, seriously? Just demonstrates how pathetic my life is, but let’s not go there…
I was the average jock coming up thru school – not the superstar by a long shot, but a solid team player. Exercise remains my AD of choice even though I’ve been in a slump these past few mos – can you say “Custody battle round 3?” Whoops, I said I wasn’t going there!
One of my bravest acts to date was walking into local hot yoga studio a couple of yrs ago, lacking that “yoga body” – but at least I can take the heat!
I accept your challenge – it’d do me a world of good to get BACK in the habit…
I am an all or nothing kind of person as well. I am also naturally athletic in the way you describe. However, I have to have a specific reason to challenge my body. I was in the army and the challenge was my job. So I was trim and fit. Then, I finished my enlistment pregnant with our second and later went on to have a total of four children (the hubby is still in the military today–23 years now). I enjoy working out so I continued to exercise, but got very lazy about what I ate and I ballooned up. Mar 12, 2014 I was told I was pre-diabetic (my mother died 5 years prior from complications related to diabetes) and this terrified me. Being able to play with my future grandchildren (my eldest child is now 17, so I have some time to wait) became my new motivation/challenge. Within 5 months, under the eye of my doctor recommended nutritionist, I lost 60lbs and have kept it off since, not once have I had an item of food I shouldn’t. So, really fear is my motivator and while I am not a fortune teller, I am fairly certain I will never eat what I shouldn’t because I envision my grandbabies and want to be a large part of their lives. For the record, very quickly I lost all cravings for the “bad” stuff, except pizza. I can bake a cake, brownies, hand out chips and fruit (I can only have a half piece of even fruit) and nothing bothers me, but man the smell of pizza is still a challenge, but getting better.
Good luck to you and this new challenge…one piece of unsolicited advice, well two:
1) It is more about what you eat than what you do.
2) Rest day’s are important, please make sure you take one day a week to exercise very lightly if you feel you must do something daily.
3) BONUS Drink plenty of water!
My body has forced me to take rest days. I’ve had no choice. I’m building up to 6 days a week, but am currently at 5. I’ve only been able to manage one Bikram class a week. Man, it was hot in there.
I hate “working out.” I tried a gym membership back when I was in my 20s and went less than a handful of times. I’m completely ungraceful and unathletic, and extremely self-conscious. Also, I don’t like people much, so I’m not really a joiner. So my exercise routine is walking. It’s perfect for me because I get to be alone (and listen to audio books while I’m at it), I don’t have to feel all clutzy and self-conscious, and I work up a sweat and it’s decent cardio (I try to “power” walk at least a couple of miles).
I feel really good when I do it consistently, but not surprisingly, find it difficult to get back on track when I’ve stopped for a few days.
After make up days that had been cancelled for ice, a week of NMSI workshop and then another for AVID, my summer finally started just about the time that June was coming to a close. I decided to use this “time off” to start the Whole 30 eating program. Because my formerly awesome metabolism packed up and moved to Florida, I have had to try different things that might get it going again. When reducing my daily meals to two-per-day, bookended by sprints at the track and hot yoga in the late afternoon failed to produce ANY results at all, I almost gave up. Whole 30 has been a gift. Sure, I have to give up wine, bread, cheese, sugar and most all carbs for 30 days, but that’s only to help me create a healthy habit. And…to help me to understand how much better I feel after eliminating the enormous amount of carbs I actually do put into my mouth every day. Or did. I’m finish Day 6 today. Yesterday I had lunch and Happy Hour with some fellow teachers from my building. I had iced tea while everyone else drank margaritas. I had steak and broccoli while everyone else had chips and salsa. I did not feel deprived. For the first time in years I feel that I am in a safe zone with my eating. I know what to do and what I can have. I feel better and I am losing weight. The stress weight I have gained has all been a product of teaching. I imagine my cortisol levels are through the roof, so I also take plenty of B vitamins for that. Good luck with the spinning!
God, I miss my formerly awesome metabolism. I should have given her more love back in the day. “I dreamed a dream, but now that dream has gone from me.”