I joined a gym

My friends all consider me to be “thin” and laugh at the idea of me going to a gym, I’ve always been one of the lucky ones that could eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce… but here’s how it happened. Last year, our receptionist got pregnant with her first baby. It’s a small office and we’re all pretty close and she was constantly bringing in goodies.. of course, she’s eating for two, but as she put it “If I’m going to get fat, I’m taking you all with me.” We thought it was funny. That was around May.

My son graduated High School and the real rush to secure his apartment for college 1,000 miles away, find a roomate, obtain financing to pay for college and apartment and all the stress involved in the move and sending my son off into the unknown…. This was June to September…. In June, I turned 37. (My mother warned me that after I hit 35, that eat anything you want and don’t worry about it won’t last much longer).

Around September, my pants started getting tight and I was unbuttoning them during the day to be “more confortable”. My son left for college and we had a whirlwind drive over 2 days, moving into an apartment, getting furniture (some was purchased in advance to be delivered the day after we arrived, the rest from our staple Wal-Mart to be assembled under less than optimal conditions (pop-pop was wonderful enough to donate a toolbox with all the bare essentials for on-your-own living), and the hunt for an affordable used vehicle for my son to get around town in (and the sticker shock of car insurance in a major metropolitan area prone to strong storms and hurricanes vs rural PA where an occassional blizzard or large hail is the extent of our weather catastrophes. Our receptionist is still force feeding us sugary sweets and my pants are getting even tighter.

In December, our world fell apart with my step-father (aka pop-pop) was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain cancer and needed almost immediate surgery, followed by a complication of blood clots in his lungs that hospitalized him a second time just a week before Christmas (the nurses and doctors were fabulous in working together to be able to discharge him on Christmas morning so we could be together as a family).

Late April… I get up and get ready for work, only to discover that the pants I’ve been unbuttoning to be more comfortable in… don’t fit AT ALL!! It was quite a mad panic as I went through my entire drawer to find a pair of pants that I could force myself into. I step on the scale showed I’d gained a good 20 pounds. Considering that my normal weight was 112-115 pounds, this was a substantial jump for me. I’d never gone up more than 5 pounds while not pregnant ever.

In May, I got sucked into watching an infomercial. I was watching TLC which I love for the Flip This House and Property Ladder series (and now The Real Deal as well). Anyway, they were showing this cool little contraption called a Jump Snap. It’s the coolest little computerized jump rope… without the rope. Of course I bought one LOL. I mean, all us girls jumped rope as kids, it was great fun, we could do it for hours, what fun, I’ll jump rope and lose weight. WOW, things sure change when you get older. The Jump Snap worked exactly like they said it did, it came with a great little workout video with a couple of perky girls doing the beginning 8 minute workout. Phfft. Eight minutes I thought, I could do 8 minutes standing on my head surely….. Well, I gotta tell you, jumping rope at my age wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The workout is broken down into 2 minutes sessions with water breaks. I won’t need water for just 8 minutes, how ridiculous…. ok, after two minutes, I’m gasping and heaving… pausing the video.. filling a water bottle to chug and I’m ready for the next 2 minutes….. they want us to do jumping jacks!! I think I’m going to die… pause video…. more water…. I made it almost 5 minutes on my first workout. Almost 6 on the second workout… 7 1/2 on the 3rd workout and on the 4th.. yeah for me, I made it through a whole 8 minutes. The Jump Snap itself will tell you exactly how long you’ve jumped and how many times you’ve jumped. So, I know when I’m tired and not jumping as many times as the workout before (I keep a spreadsheet of my progress… date, length of workout, and jumps… to keep myself committed and accountable for keeping up with a routine. I tried to keep up 4-5 times a week with the 8 minute program and was almost instantly gratified with losing an inch off my waist, and half an inch of my hips. I got back in to several of my pants that I couldn’t button just a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately, I’ve plateaued at point 🙁

In Late May, I had the opportunity to join a gym and a reduced rate for doing some freelance work for them. Now, while many people may not appreciate something that isn’t really costing them much, I’m taking as much advantage of it as I can, going to the gym 3-4 times a week for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. My routine is up to at least 5 miles on the stationary bike, “circuit” a series of 20 machines (I don’t do 2 of them because of previous back problems) that are designed for strengthening different groups of muscles, I’ve recently added at least 15 minutes (nearly 1 1/2 miles) on the cross trainer.. similar to a step machine or eliptical, and other 1 to 1 1/4 miles on the treadmill… I still haven’t dropped a pound, so it’s very discouraging, but the tell me it typically takes at least 3 months. I’m clinging to the fact that in just a month, I’ve more than doubled my workout stamina and my clothes are feeling better (I rarely unbutton my pants during the day now LOL). So, I’m entering a new phase of the.. watching everything I eat. I’m having a terrible time cutting out the snacking after years of.. don’t worry, you can eat it.. mentality, but, I’m getting there. Hopefully my friends will stop laughing at me soon (sigh).