Several people have suggested that I sit down and write an entry about my weight loss experience. I’ve resisted doing so because I can’t believe anyone would really want to hear about my self-image epiphany or the subsequent shedding of the excess pounds. It wasn’t profound and it certainly wasn’t exciting. Anyone can do what I did. You just have to want it. Instead, I think I will tell you about my love affair with the stationary bike.
In the first few months after the dreadful Christmas photo tragedy, I was in denial. Not denial about having to do something about my weight, but in how I was to accomplish it. I dabbled in diets. Atkins, South Beach, SlimFast, Weight Watchers. You name it, I tried it. I even tried supplements. It soon became clear to me that I was going to have to do this getting skinny thing the old-fashioned way. I was going to have to sweat it off. The realization of this sent a shudder of despair through my body. I sucked up, though. It had to be done.
The first step was to figure out how I was going to go about it and that posed a bit of a challenge for me. I am not a joiner. At least, I wasn’t then. The thought of stepping foot in a public gym where I might have to actually interact with someone I didn’t know made me itch all over. I did have a treadmill at home. Though, it was really more of a dusty clothes hanger that took up the entire corner of my bedroom. I hated it. Let’s face it, there is nothing exciting about walking on a treadmill. Even with a TV to watch or a book to read, it is “kill me now” boring. It also hurt my foot. Several years ago, I had corrective surgery on my right big toe. It involved straightening of the toe, a pin and a bone graft. It didn’t end well. Needless to say, I don’t run, I can’t wear heels and continuous use of a treadmill is quite painful. I also didn’t like that the calorie burning potential of a treadmill is relatively low compared to other forms of cardio exercise. I considered an elliptical – for about 30 seconds. It is certainly foot friendly and I could burn a ton of calories on it. There was just one small hiccup. Coordination. I have none.
Next on my list was a stationary bike. I ventured over to my local Academy Sports and Outdoor store and tried a couple out. There were so many to choose from. Basic ones, ones with lots of buttons and programs and plugs, scary spinners. I picked one that was relatively comfortable, user-friendly without a lot of stuff, and had a place for my water bottle. That was a must have feature. It also happened to be the cheapest. $88 before tax. I loaded it up, brought it home and, after some assembly, plopped it down in front of the tv and proceeded to ride. A lot.
It wasn’t love at first sight. Oh no. I hated that thing when I first brought it home. It made my butt hurt in places it shouldn’t, my knees ached, my hips ached. Sometimes I was so sore I could barely walk. But I stuck with it, determined to meet each and every goal I set for myself. At first it was 20 minutes, then 25, 30, 35. Before I knew it, I was trucking right along at 60 minutes and my waistline was noticeably smaller. This is about the time it dawned on me that I no longer hated this silly little bike. In fact, I looked forward to the hour I devoted to biking a night – my “me” time. I had fallen head over heels, utterly and completely, in love with my stationary bike.
It was by far the best $88 I have ever spent. Sadly, my faithful bike was a victim of the house fire. In a previous blog, I said that there is no one material object that I couldn’t live without. That was perhaps a bit of an overstatement. I couldn’t (and can’t even now) live without my stationary bike. I was almost like an alcoholic craving a swig of booze. I needed to get back on a bike. Within a week of the fire, I had Nolan down at the Academy picking up another bike. That time around, though, I decided to get a more expensive one with a few more whistles and bells. Big mistake. I hated that bike. I suffered with it for a few months, hoping that I would get used to it, but it just wasn’t the same. I missed my old bike. Finally, in an effort to shut me up, Nolan went back and bought me another $88 bike. I love that man.
Since then, I have had to say a painful good-bye to that one, too. It was a trooper but it just couldn’t hold up to my obsessive pedaling. I’ve tried in vain to replace it but they do not make that specific model any longer. Currently, I have two stationary bikes in the house – a recumbent and an upright. I ride neither. They just don’t hold the same allure for me. The loss of that bike left me feeling lost and struggling to find something to fill void left in my heart. Then, in November I discovered the spinning bikes at the 24 Hour Fitness.
Love at first sight.