Fluffy Goes to the Gym

Just Do It!

Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Working Out

So I’ve been brooding over not being able to ride my bike with the onset of cold weather. Sure I could ride it, but I don’t want to go out in the cold. Additionally, the roads are scary this time of year. But I don’t want to lose my momentum. Well I actually lost it when I stopped riding sometime in October. So I want it back.  This is not a New Year’s Resolution, though the timing of it makes it seem that way.  This is a continuation of my commitment to better health I started in 2013.

I thought I’d go back to Curves. I had joined Curves briefly several years ago and found it to be an easy-to-do workout and a pleasant atmosphere (usually.) It is a gym specifically for women, and is designed to be a place where us obese ladies can feel “safe.”  I had to stop going at that time for financial reasons.  There really should be more affordable ways for people to get to a gym. Planet Fitness is affordable but more than an hour away from here…but that’s off topic.  So…anyway.

The other day I finally went to the Curves location. I don’t know if it’s under the same management, but let me tell you, I did not like it one bit. The atmosphere was not as I remembered. There was nobody there working out.  The person behind the desk ignored me until I stood there a few moments. Then she looked up, unsmiling, and said “Yes???”

My first instinct was to cut & run; I felt like she saw me as an annoyance, upsetting her routine…but I said: “I’d like to open up a membership.” She replied, “What plan do you want?” And I, unsure of the plans available, said “Ummm…uh…..” She interrupted my awkward stuttering with “Fitness ONLY?” And I said “Yeah….”

“It’s $44 a month. You may sit down.”  I obeyed.  I felt like I was in the principal’s office about to get detention.

She got some paperwork. Handing it to me, she said “You may peruse this before you sign the contract.” Being a Realtor, I know the devil is in the details, so I read the contract….my intention was to join for 6 months and then stop when bike season started. Uh-oh….I saw that it was a minimum 24 month contract, so I asked “I need to commit for 2 years?”

“That’s the contract,” was her terse reply. I looked again, knowing I wasn’t going to sign, but stalling for time so I could come up with just the right words…this woman made me very uncomfortable and I felt very unwelcome; this contract put me over the edge. I know of another gym closer to my home that has month to month and annual plans. But people who scare me go to that gym. They are fitness freaks.

I finally put the contract down and said “I think not…I can’t commit to that long of a term.”   Not exactly the clever response I wanted, but hey.  She raised her eyebrows and shrugged, as if to say “Oh well….whatever.”  She snatched up the paper, tossed it in the trash, and went back to her computer. No “Thank you for stopping by,” or “Maybe we can talk to the owner…” not even a “Goodbye.”

WOW!!! No wonder overweight people are afraid to go to gyms. This lady won the award, in my opinion, for being the worst gym rep ever. I don’t think she was unfriendly to me because I was overweight; I just don’t think she’s friendly at all. ATTENTION GYM OWNERS: People walking through your doors want to feel welcomed and important!!!

So I stopped at the other gym, the one closer to home, and signed up. It actually is a way better deal than Curves…and nicer people at the front desk, too.

Today was my first day at the gym. I was definitely feeling out of place, as nobody there working out looked like they had ANY body fat, and I looked like…well, an obese middle aged woman. But the cool thing is…nobody (apart from the trainer of course) paid any attention to me, that I could perceive – they were all focused on one thing and one thing only: their workout.

If you want to work out at a gym, and the person inside makes you feel awkward…uncomfortable…unwelcome…just go to a different one. JUST DO something. And remember all those other skinny people…the ones you want to hate…the ones you want to trip on their way to the fountain…well many of them were probably not always skinny and fit. They have to work hard to keep their level of fitness. Remember too that they’re not looking at you. They are focusing on their workout, their goals, thinking about their life situations….you go to the gym to focus on you, and getting healthy.

Don’t let jerks prevent you from doing it. I’m glad I didn’t let my experience at Curves turn me off. It almost did. I argued with myself all the way down to the other gym…I even sat in the parking lot, saying to myself, “Just go home. You have work to do. Come back tomorrow….” And I had to tell myself NO.  Get out of the car, Fluffy.  No.  Yes.  No.  You can go to Cocoon and get a skinny latte for your trip home if you do. OK. (Hey whatever it takes to win the battle.)

I think fat people are slightly scizo, (<—auto correct wants me to make that word Schlitz…not a bad idea…) because we are always having multiple conversations and arguments within our own head.

Maybe that will go away as I shed the pounds…I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m going to the gym again, and I’m not even going to bribe myself to do it.


Put Down the M & M’s. Really.

Do not just put them down.

Throw them out.

I was once svelte and sexy – I weighed about 124-127 lbs all the time.  Rarely did I deviate beyond a few pounds.

Here I am just out of high school, in 1987, with my beloved car:

Sexy Camaro Girl

1987 and Feeling Fine

I remember my fiance telling me “Don’t ever get fat!” before we got married. And I

A Skinny Bride

March 25 1995

laughed at him.  Of course I won’t ever get fat!

That was almost over 17 years ago…we are celebrating our 17th anniversary on March 25th.  And guess what?

I’m fat. 237 lbs fat. My BMI score labels me as “severely obese” which is positive; I was certain I had crossed over into “morbidly obese” range (that’s after a BMI of  40).

Severely Obese

A Rare Photo of All Of Me

If you have known me a while you will know this is not my first post about my weight, and it won’t be my last. I have weighed less than this and declared I was going on a diet.  When I first became horrified of my weight, I weighed about 224 lbs, and was shocked.  I started Weight Watchers and lost about 50 lbs or so, give or take.

Then I got a job as a secretary in a real estate office. I thought it was awesome, as now I could have enough money to go to the gym on a regular basis. Only that didn’t happen, and people trying to get business with our agents kept coming in to the office with Krispy Kreme donuts.

I lost the battle, and caved in…the sugar was too addictive.  Though I was happy to be down into a size 16 jeans and trying for 14…I slowly brought the weight back up.

Then I got tired of achy joints and plantar fasciitis and feeling like a stuffed pig all the time, and I started again. I once again signed up for Weight Watchers.  But my life got too out of control. I was now a real estate agent and on the road a lot.  McDonald’s and Turkey Hill (convenience store like 7-11 with awesome personal pizzas) became my habit.  I drank multiple Coca Colas or Dr Peppers a day on top of tons of coffee to keep “moving.”  I would come home and crash, and reach for sugar cereals like Froot Loops to keep me awake to work on the computer. I wanted to stop.  Get off this crazy merry go round and be healthy, not some walking time bomb.

I made public boasts on Facebook and my blog thinking that would keep me motivated to lose weight. But as time went on, I found myself forgetting…grabbing a pizza, grabbing some fries…coming home to more sugar.  My problem isn’t with craving fats as much as it is craving sugar. When I’m thirsty I want a coke. When I’m hungry, I want sweetened cereals or cookies or cake.

So here I am once again, at 237 lbs.  I am scared.  I don’t like being out of breath simply because I climbed 15 stairs.  I don’t like it that people at the office know  *I* am the one coming upstairs and say “Hi Karen!” before I even show my face…I am the only one I guess who huffs and sounds like a dairy cow plodding up the steps with heavy feet.

Yesterday I looked at a home for sale with a narrow stairway and I realized I could not make it up those stairs without squeezing myself through the passage. That, my friends, is embarrassing and humiliating.  I try to laugh it off and make fun of myself in a lighthearted way, to show others I know I’m obese and that it doesn’t bother me.

But. It does.

I am scared because every day I find it more difficult to get out of bed, out of the house…I want to stay home. I don’t want to “go” anywhere.  I am sad because I am always the one with the camera, or I am hiding behind my children or I crop most pictures to head and shoulders where I don’t look quite so huge.

I have the tools, I have the knowledge.  I want to juice fresh fruits and veggies so I can be healthy and have energy and feel like leaving the house.

Once again, I am going to embark on the journey. Maybe it was the achy feeling I had in my arm yesterday, maybe it was the fact that going upstairs to my bedroom at home or my desk at the office tires me out and makes me lose my breath…maybe it’s the fact that I’m hiding behind my children in almost every recent photo of me…I don’t know. I just know that I want to stop the Fat Train and get off.  I want to be this girl again:

Healthy Happy

Healthy and Happy

Not this one anymore:

Fat Mama Has to Go

Hiding behind my Child

This isn’t about looks really…it’s about my health. I want to enjoy my life, not barely endure it. I don’t care so much about looking “svelte and sexy” anymore…but I do care about diabetes, stroke, heart attacks…ya know?