Tag Archives: exercise

Getting Back on Track: Boot Camp

I went back to the gym last week.  That’s after gaining back thirty of the ninety-five pounds I lost last year!  It was time.  You can only go for so long saying to yourself things like, “It’s a stressful time: I should eat.”  Or “I’m feeling really happy today: I should eat.” Or, “I have a wedding coming up where I’m going to eat anyway, so I might as well eat.”

So, I signed up for a two-week session at my local YWCA that has the lovely name of “Boot Camp.”  And,  for the past eight days (the camp goes for ten), I’ve been showing up at the Y and doing an intense combination of cardio, weights and just general misery (lunges, planks, etc.) that has made me feel completely exhausted and muscle-achy–but very proud of myself.  I’m feeling muscles I didn’t know existed!  I have more energy at work.  My outlook on life has improved.  I’m even feeling more hopeful about eventually getting back to where I was.  My friend Catherine, who is the Director of Programs at the Y, told me about the camp, so, all I can say is, “Thank you, C.P.!”

I would like to say that I’ve also seriously curtailed my eating this week—to really take advantage of all those burned calories—but I’m afraid I’ve just boosted my eating enough to make sure I don’t lose weight.  But that’s okay.  The main thing is that I bit the bullet; I took the bull by the horns; I put a stop to the downward slide I was on.  I haven’t lost weight this week, but I also haven’t gained.  And I’ve gotten back over the terrible hurdle that I always face: FEAR/DREAD OF EXERCISE.  So, there’s hope.


Here’s how I figure it:  at the end of these two weeks, my body will be in slightly better shape than it was two weeks ago, and I will have two important things to motivate me to keep exercising (and, eventually, perhaps, even to cut back on my eating):  1) I will not want the misery—and the cost—of Boot Camp to have been for naught; 2) my body will actually feel the need for exercise again—it will be in a groove and not want to get out of it.  Most of all, I hope I can remember not to be a perfectionist.  My plan at least, is to forgive myself if I don’t go to  the gym every day but reward myself for any exercise I can squeeze into my life.  I will say to myself things like, “Any day you go is progress!”  or “If you walk around the block right now in the hot sun, even though it’s not a ton of exercise, it’s better than sitting on the couch.”

We’ll see.  Before I get to that point, however, I’ve got two more days of boot camp to get through.  Wish me luck!






Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics




I have found, after more than a year of being on my weight management program, that, amazingly enough, there really is a direct connection between exercise and keeping my weight off.  Who would have thunk it?  I have fought this connection for years because I basically hate exercise.  I get bored by walking or running or stepping on an exercise machine.  I hate getting up early in the morning to go to a class.  So, I have never been any good at finding exercise I can do on a regular basis–until now.  I love deep water aerobics!  And I highly recommend it for women over 50! 


Deep water aerobics is basically water aerobics in the deep end of the pool, with or without a flotation device around your waist.  (I usually wear one because I’m phobic about drowning, but most people in my class don’t.)  There is something about deep water aerobics that makes it fun and soothing—at the same time that it works your muscles.  Maybe it’s because when you get tired, you can always lie back in the water and rest for a minute.  Or maybe it’s because you feel so weightless at the same time that you are trying to burn off weight.  Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the few kinds of exercise that doesn’t end up hurting my back when I get carried away with it.  My friend, Nancy, says it’s the only kind of exercise she can do that doesn’t end up hurting her knee—and she has had knee surgery!  And it’s not just for old codgers.  Our class is a mix of people of all ages. Continue reading Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics

Update on My Weight Loss

Some friends have asked me to give an update on my weight loss and on how I’m doing, now that the program is officially “over.”  On paper, at least, I’m doing fine.  I’ve lost a total of 88 pounds, and I’m still being careful, still exercising.  But I have to say that this is the hardest part of the program for me.  It’s a lot easier, I’ve discovered, to stay on a program where you know you can have six chocolate shakes a day and nothing more than it is to have the whole world laid out in front of you, where you have to choose what and when you are going to eat!  There’s this tendency to jump up and down, celebrating and yelling, “I did it!”–that can mess with your head.  After all, if you have already succeeded at something, then why do you still need to think and work and struggle? 

It’s felt like a slippery slope lately.  One bite of chocolate chip cookie here.  Two tastes of bacon there.  I see how easily I could just slip right back into bad eating habits, no matter how much soul-searching I’ve done over the past few months.  Old, lifelong habits die hard.

I know 2 things now:  1) I will always have to think about my eating and keep it under control because I love food and am addicted to food (so there really is no finish line in this race) and 2) it will probably never get easier. 

 It helps to know that.  Continue reading Update on My Weight Loss