Friday, January 9, 2009

WHAT IS A BANDWAGON? And why is it so easy to fall off?

I jumped on the traditional January bandwagon today………………..backwards. Technically, I guess I jumped off. At a time when millions are flocking to gyms and weight loss centers everywhere; I canceled my gym membership. Yes, I did. I walked in sans exercise equipment and signed my name on the dotted line. There is a thirty day notice policy in effect that allows me to continue not working out until February 15th but officially, I am no longer a member.

You may or may not remember that my motivation for establishing this blog was to create a place where I could hold myself accountable by proclaiming my successes and failures publicly in my quest for better fitness, a more youthful appearance and most importantly arse removal. If you are a new reader or don't remember that post, you can click here to see what I had to say in my very first blog post. Since that time, I have posted about a few of my gym experiences, and discussed my diet regimen or lack thereof occasionally but for the most part, this blog has become more about my nonsensical life and all the joys that lie therein. I'm OK with that. It is what it is.

That being said, I still feel the burden that is finding the ever-elusive fit me, the healthy me, dare I say the smaller version of me that is out there somewhere, I just know it. Someone told me that they saw her at Whole Foods but by the time I got there, she was GONE! **sigh**

Here is the real deal:

  • In the three years that I have been working out on a regular basis (with the exception of the holiday season this year) I have basically gotten nowhere. I lost and gained weight throughout and in the end can say with pride frustration that I am ten pounds lighter than I was when I started. Not good enough. I guess it's better than finding myself ten pounds heavier but three years! Come on!
  • I want/need to find a diet that is as much about changing my eating habits as it is about losing weight. I have no interest in going on a temporary fad diet because history shows, the weight just comes back. I understand that in order to lose weight the caloric consumption must be more restrictive now and will loosen up a bit for a maintenance plan. I think I will be going back to the South Beach Diet because it's healthy and it includes all the food groups. I am a foodie and cannot will not cut any one food group out of my diet. SBD does restrict carbs but eventually you add them back in measured doses.
  • My workout has become stale. I know that I enjoy classes more than working out independently but my old gym's class offerings didn't accommodate my schedule. It caters more to the stay at home mom, the senior citizens and the independently wealthy crowd. Every time they try to open an after-normal working hours class, it is poorly attended (meaning I'm the only one who shows up) and is eventually canceled.
  • There is another gym near my office that offers multiple evening classes. It is a national chain. They have another location not too far from my house should the desire strike me for a weekend workout. The membership is the same price as my old gym. I'm not sure what the time commitment is.
  • I have a treadmill in my bedroom that currently serves as a clothes hanger. The motor needs to be replaced. I can't imagine this repair would be too costly.
  • I get the Fit Tv channel, I have a dvd player and I own several exercise videos. The problem with working out at home is that I always think that I will do it later and later never seems to happen.
  • I've always wanted to be a runner but since our trip out West on the bikes last year, my knees have aged to 78 while I have only progressed to the ripe old age of none of your business. Osteo BiFlex wants to be my friend but I keep forgetting to take the darn pills.

I have to do something and it really should be now. Time is slipping by fast and it's already been over a month since I've exercised. Sadly my eating habits have gone to hell in a hand-basket too. It seems that the whole world is telling me to get up off my arse and just do it. People magazine showed three women on their cover that lost half their body weight. Thankfully, I don't have that much to lose. So why is it so hard for me to stick to a plan? I get at least 10 emails a day on my blackberry telling me to lose weight and exercise. Well, maybe not in those exact words.

Geri over at New Wrinkles did a recent post where she tells just how important exercise is to the aging process. New Wrinkles is a blog dedicated to giving important information on all sorts of health topics. It seems some people feel it's a better use of their time to actually give helpful information on their blog instead of the (almost) daily dose of silliness you find here. **wink**

So, peeps! Any suggestions? What's a girl to do? Are you frustrated too? Have you found the answer? I'm not talking resolutions here. What's your plan to get into shape? Or have you just decided that being fat and sassy ain't all that bad?

Oh and today I read over at Bear Naked that Physical Fitness helps your brain! SIGN.ME.UP! I need all the help I can get in that department. This case of Midlife Distraction is killing me.


Jan said...

I observed on 24@Heart's blog not too long ago that this year I've tied myself to the "getting healthier" bandwagon so if I fall off, it'll drag me around behind it.

As for you, m'dear, by the time you got to "Osteo BiFlex wants to be my friend but I keep forgetting to take the darn pills" I was like, gawdDAMN - that is why I love SMB so much.

Say with me: Soul sistah.

I've been mulling over the SBD, although if I go back on a carbohydrate-restricted diet I may very well do Protein Power again; I hate the thought of restricting (to say nothing of eliminating) any one food group as much as you and for the very same reasons, but every time I do PP I feel EVER so much better. And phase one of the diet includes nuts and low-glycemic fruit, if not grains or legumes(much like SBD) so I don't feel totally deprived. You can gradually add grains back into your diet if you tolerate them well (the basis of PP is that some people just don't).

However, there is a school of thought (somewhere in my brain) that says to me, You know, you cook a lot - and varied things, at that - but you don't necessarily EAT a lot (something Beloved points out to me quite a bit) and if you cut out the damn booze and got your fat ass down to the basement where you have a fully functional treadmill and a BowFlex to boot, you might meet with a modicum of success.

I've got a domain and have been working (sort of) on a blog called, geared towards the, shall we say, mid-life gal. If I build it, will they come? Will you contribute to it?

thyme said...

I'd say "go skating" but somehow I don't think that would get you anywhere either...

In fact, the other day I read an article that said a study has proved that women size 42 (notably heavier than the fashion "norm") feel happiest. A good second were the women size 40 (slightly heavier than the fashion model) and THIRD were the size 36 women (fashion model). Larger than 42 were less happy. I think if it is scientifically proven that slimming makes me feel less happy, I'm not going to. I'd have to be crazy!

Midlife Slices said...

First off, is Thyme talking American sizes or European?

Secondly, I've jumped on your bandwagon and started exercising. HBL is encouraging me, but only for the health benefits and the brain boosting power which is really foremost on my mind these days.....when I can remember to worry about it.

I'm a firm believer in Weight Watchers because nothing is restricted and you have a peer group where you feel held accountable. I'm going to join when I get back to TX.....whenever that is. Here in podunk, OK my resources are limited but I've been on that damn elliptical faithfully for 4 days in a row. WooHoo!!

p.s. Why is my captcha about fiber? LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh...and take that money you're saving on the gym membership and buy a Wii Fit. Everyone I've talked to who has one has lost weight. I'm sure I would too if I could use it but right now there is a 4 year old on it and he's shooting targets. Doesn't look like I'll get it any time soon. ugh...

Reader Wil said...

Our bandwagon is called Sonja Bakker. She prescribes a diet, which seems to help immediately. She has written a book. May be I need to hop on this bandwagon but I am too lazy. And I don't care!!

Reader Wil said...

Oh and I am size 42! When I was 40 years old I was size 38 and not always happy.

Vodka Mom said...

I LOVE that you quit your membership when everyone else signed up!!

You rock!!!

I love it.

Lo said...

hehehehehe 'the ripe old age of none of your business.' i like that line :)

good god girl, i'm only 24, and i have been dieting for ten years now. turns out last month i find that my thyroid has been underactive. no more diet. can't imagine why no one figured this out sooner!!! it is DAMN HARD to stay a size 2 with an underactive thyroid. ahem. please don't kick me.

i hate working out. HATE IT. i keep meaning to go to the gym but the only way i will EVER stick to working out is if i get a personal trainer. the only way. and i'm not gwenyth or madonna so it may be a while.

smiles4u said...

I've been waiting to read a post like this since it's the new year and all...I so need to jump back on the exercise train but have made no progress in doing so. The thing is I love to work out...I'm just not taking the time to do it. My kids go to bed at 7 so I could actually do it then without interruptions but all I want to do is nothing...well nothing other then read blogs or lay comotose while watching tv. I need some motivation and reading this does do a little of that but it would help more if you came over to my house and kicked my ass off this computor or off the couch and then kicked my ass downstairs to exercise. Do you think you could find the time to come all the way here and do this? LOL! Hell, if you came all the way here I'd have to have a drink with a margaritta or two or three and then I don't know how you will get me doing much of anything...except maybe dancing!(but, hey that's exercise!)

Anonymous said...

I quit my exercise club at the end of November... I knew I wouldn't use it in December and there was no 'stick it to ya' fee for quitting. Plan to start up in the spring again, unless I come up with a better lose and tone body plan before then.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Cristin said...

Thinking about joining a gym got me winded... I too am the owner of several fitness videos and a beautiful gym in the basement, which is home to a lovely family of spiders... who are certainly in better shape than I am...

Mona said... first instinct was to say "Goodness, don't worry about it. You are practically a child, but that's a bunch of bull. If someone had told me about how difficult it is to get the weight off when you are UP there in age, still wanting to be beautiful, find yourself in an awkward position of introducing a new gentleman into your would take SERIOUS precautions NOW! With weight comes health problems and with bad health the joy goes out of life. DO NOT WAIT AND BLOW OFF the fact that you need to lose weight. Time is CREAPS up on you. Seriously! GET serious! Do everything the people who are knowledgeable about weight loss tell you to do... and the wrinkle control experts tell you to do. JUMP into a bottle of Johnsons Baby cream. A jar of valeline. I started with the baby cream at 18 when I had my first of seven children and got hooked on it. When they stopped making it the original way..I jumped on the Vaseline.
I'm writing too much. But..I am 72 years old this past Oct. and I have learned ..well...a few things. :) How to ward off wrinkles was one of them. IT works! But you have to start now..NOT after you get them! NOW who is the big mouth?! But..I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT just like you do.
Like 25 pounds! That is one thing I didn't learn and I wish I had.
Good luck, my sweet friend.

thistle said...

Well...weightloss IS actually a simple formula of eat less, move more...but it does get trickier as we age. Janie is right about's normal but mindful eating, plus they have the online version now...perhaps we should all just join that! Poor WW...they wouldn't know what hit them if we suddenly all showed up in their chat rooms LOL...

i got my new runners i can't use falling-apart-shoes as an excuse for failing in the mileage dept anymore dammit...

only a movie said...

I needed to read this post. Need some motivation.
I have FitTV too and new running I use them? Notsomuch.
I quit my gym last year - hated it. I did a few Zumba classes and that was fun. The thing that works most for me is just sticking to a walking routine and Weight Watchers.

Geri said...

I think weight loss is about finding the right type of exercise for you and then also restricting calories. Weight loss is basic: You have to eat less or burn more calories than you take in. Then I think the hardest part is maintaining the weight loss. Millions of people lose weight, but the problem is they don't keep it off.

You also have to concrete ideas and action strategies. So, don't just say, "I'm going to lose weight." Say, "I'm going to jog twice a week," or "I going to take a yoga class." I don't think it's so important what you do, as the fact that you do it. Moreover, it seems that exercising in morning time makes it much more likely you'll fit exercise into your schedule.

You shouldn't have to make resolutions to be fit. Being fit means having a better, longer life with less health problems. If you have time to sit and watch TV, you have time to exercise. I read that even if you exercise 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there, over the course of a day it adds up. So, if you can't exercise for 30 or 40 or 50 minutes all at the same time, try exercising for 5 minutes. If you add in 5 minutes of exercise every couple of hours throughout the day, suddenly you've achieved 30 or more minutes of exercise.

Geri said...

P.S. Hope it's okay, I added you to my blog roll.

Mal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Midlife Slices said...

Me thinks the comment right above this one is spam.

Tessa said...

I hear ya, SMB. But I decided last October that I wanted off the treadmill of feeling lousy and unfit all the time, so I gritted my teeth, dusted off the basement gym and my copy of SBD (why does that make me think of farts? Oh yeah, now I remember...) and off I set on what I told TFH is my last diet/fitness bash.

It's been tough (why can't I become one of those weirdos who LIKE working out?) but I've stuck to it and now, 20lbs later and lighter, I'm still sticking to it. It's not a diet any more, it's my new way of living and I don't miss all those pasta, bread, rice carbohydrates any more. I HATE HATE HATE working out every day, but I force myself to do it. Watching cable On Demand as I go helps - I'm all caught up on Dexter, True Blood, Californification, Stargate and a few others I would not otherwise watch.

I think it's like smoking. You try so many times to give them up and fall off the wagon every time. And then one day, for no real reason, it just sticks and you finally give up the demon weed for good. It's only been three months, but I made it through Christmas without breaking step, so I'm determined that this time is going to be the permanent fix.

Go for it, SMB. You've nothing to lose but your arse.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Jan-"Soul sistah!"
I know that SBD works for me but I seem to have a problem with staying on it for long. I know that Weight Watchers works too but I just can't stand counting points and their core plan is too restrictive for me. When I count points I tend to eat the same thing everyday (which never lasts for a foodie) so I don't have to count. You've mentioned Protein Power before. I will have to check that out. I know what you mean, I eat healthy already and I don't really seriously overeat like the dieters in the People article but obviously I'm eating too much of a good thing. I used to think all I had to do was get back to exercising and that was it but 3 years of vigorous exercise for 1+hours 3-5 x week proves otherwise. At my age, I have to try harder, do more. GRRRRrrrrr!

So back to exercise (and it will probably be the new gym) back to SBD and alas no alcohol. That means no sweet tea vodka, right?
I would be happy to contribute to your new site but wait til I have something helpful to say besides lamenting the woes of middle-age spread. **Muah**

Thyme-Are you trying to rub in the fact that we have no ice here? *wink*
Your comment made me feel so much better because in the US I wear a 10/12. So I must be a super-super model! LOL

MLS-Thyme lives in Holland and I'm thinking of moving there because I said above, I wear a 10/12 which would make me very thin there, right?

It will help that you have a HBL cheerleader in your court. I love ww except for the tracking. Will you do that for me. Just follow me around and write down every morsel I pop in my mouth? You're such a good friend. Congrats on the exercise roll you're on. And during football w/Corona too. Maybe that's a new strategy we should check out.
The Wii is a very good idea and I may get there but right now I'm just worried it would strap my already post-holiday budget.

RW-I think you look great. Good for you. I'll have to check to see if Sonja's books are in English too. If not, maybe you could give me lessons in Dutch. Americans tend to be unilingual. A plan that works immediately sounds good to me.

VM-I'm a rebel!

Lo-I should be so lucky to have an underactive thyroid if I could look like you. Ahhh youth! Take care of that thyroid because that will give you lots of grief as you age if you don't take care of it.

Smiles-I'm checking for flights right now. Get the margaritas chilling. Then we'll go downstairs to exercise. Maybe we could make a video. Alcohol and Abs, Muscles and Margaritas. We may be onto something here. *wink*

Di-I had fulfilled my membership commitment 2 years ago but they still get another 30 days out of you just for good measure when you quit here. Grrr. Good luck on finding a better method. I'll see you at the gym. **muah**

Cristin-I seriously LOL at the visual of the spiders in your basement getting fit. Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll come back again.

Mona-You are a very YOUNG 72! Thanks for all the great advice. I have to admit that I'm not too good in the lotions and potions department. I really need to pay more attention to my skin or I'll just be one big skinny wrinkly when I finally accomplish my goal.

Thistle-For me it's the eat less part that I need to master. I feel like I've been pretty good with my exercising until recently but it's the diet that needs work. I love the idea of us all joining ww online and sitting in a chat room together. They'd never know what hit 'em! Now put on your new sneaks and NO EXCUSES! Well......except for floods and mudslides. **sigh** Just DO IT!

Movie-Zumba! Now that's what I'm talking about. My old gym offered that and the night I showed up it was canceled as the instructor had broken her ankle. Yikes! Tough stuff, I guess. The class never resumed. *sigh*

Geri-Thanks for all the helpful info. I do want to add yoga back in as well. It's hard for me to stay still and be quiet for that long but I do need help to stay limber and flexible. I love what it does for your core too.

And of course you can add me to your blogroll. I really need to update mine as well.


Tessa-I'm with you, the only time I have really enjoyed exercise was when I was teaching. A clown with a microphone and her own dance space. Good luck. Looks like we should all pull together and start a club or something. I'll be thinking of a name all day now. LOL

Well peeps! It looks like this comment section has turned into a post of its own. Maybe I should copy and paste it into the original post. Thanks for all your advice and observations! OK, get ready, everyone.........Let's roll! (not that we're round or anything......***sigh***)

Midlife Slices said...

Zumba doesn't work. I have all the CD's and I've looked at the for months and lost nothing.

hmmm.....maybe I should actually open the box. Think that would help? *wink*

p.s. I really do have the whole series and I'm glad you made me remember. Maybe I'll dust them off and Zumba my way to thinness. And then again.........

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I hear you too SBM. I try to think "staying healthy and off chemo." anything else is just icing.

I try to focus my diet on the book, The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics. Not so much a diet as a life style choice for health. I walk a lot. I like walking. It gets me out. It settles my mind. I do the yoga routine that comes on Fit TV.

It's not enough to keep things lifted though. Saggage is still happening. I need to up the anty.

Fragrant Liar said...

My game is racquetball. Since I got bad knees (and a guy with more interest in new restaurants), I haven't played. I too look for the skinny girl I once was -- not that I'm a chunk now, I'm just lack the svelte figure I had until about seven years ago. I'm not giving up on finding her, but neither am I giving up on being sedentary. Hmmm, think there's a contradiction there?


Anonymous said...

SMB - I found your blog through Nothing Fancy. What has helped me in the past is Weight Watchers. It helped me shed 50lbs. after each baby and I'm only 5'1. It changes your eating habits.

p.s. I have to say that I love the taxi question show also. It's a hoot.

Breathe said...

I'm not much for diets, but I tell you one thing - DON'T EXCERCISE. Excercise is boring.

Find something physical to do that you enjoy. take it slow. look forward to it. consider it a gift to yourself.

If that doesn't work, then give someone $600 and tell them to give you $100 for every month you stick to your diet/workout plan. Then take the cash go to the beach in Mexico and collect cabana boys...

I'll carry your luggage.

20th Century Woman said...

SMB, however old you are, I'm old enough to be your mother. A few things I have learned (and I haven't learned much) in my long life: first, exercise is good for you, but it won't make you lose weight. Second, as you get older you need less food. That's really tragic when eating becomes life's main pleasure. I quit smoking and hit menopause at the same time and immediately gained 15 pounds. Twenty five years later I'm still trying to get rid of those pounds. South Beach is pretty good, but the real answer is eat healthy but eat less. Put small amounts of food on your plate, and don't take seconds. It's so simple and so sad.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

MLS-Maybe you could video yourself doing the Zumba for us so that we could all benefit.

Pseudo-I think you're going about it all RIGHT. But alas the saggage problem. **sigh**

Liar-Maybe if we run while we are looking for the "other" us....yes...that might work.

Lisa-Welcome from one Hoosier to another. I think you follow my cousin too. QTPie.

I'm almost 5'2" and think WW is great but I just don't like the tracking. Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you'll come back again.

Breathe-I like that idea! Thanks for visiting.

20th Century Woman-I completely agree. If exercise was all it takes, I would be there by now. Finding the right diet that works for me. And by the way I'm using diet to describe my eating pattern not a temporary fix. For me it's portion control and losing my all or nothing attitude.

JeanMac said...

I got a treadmill and just cut back on serving sizes and no desserts or wine - well, rarely. Lost 30 lbs. since June 15th - I do 30 min at 3mph 6-7 days a week on the TM.Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Oh Geesh! You're asking the wrong person. I hate exercise. I mean, really really hate it. So I try to avoid it if at all possible. Exercise for me is parking as far as possible away from my destination, shopping, walking around the neighborhood, always taking the stairs and chasing H all over the place. I barely eat anything, cuz heaven forbid what I'd look like if I did.

I told Hubby yesterday that I was going to start exercising when I turned 50. He laughed. I was serious.


Good luck! At least you're way ahead of me!

T5M said...

I just started working out and feel great! ...but I am just doing aerobic tapes in the basement. No fancy gym for me. Yahoo!

I do admire you for dropping off. My husband paid for his gym membership for a year because he couldn't get over his failure to go.

I tagged you for a meme. :-)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

JeanMac-I think your strategy sounds like a great plan and it's working for you too.

Fancy-I'm way ahead of you only because my middle-age spread is way ahead of you too. I just think of it as a necessary evil.

T5M-I'm thinking that I have to go to the gym as I keep putting it off for the later that never happens at home. Good for you for making it happen. Thanks for the meme. I'll get right on a few days. I love memes. (Now that Thistle explained to me what one was.