Lame Adventure 409: Unloading the Kangaroo

Last November, I revealed that my gastroenterologist urged me to shed a bowling ball and seven bananas in weight that I gained over the course of the previous four years. One or two of you may have wondered:

One or Two Lame Adventurers: How’s that going?

I was motivated to purchase a spin bike and a package of chocolate sea salt cookies. The cookies I inhaled quickly. A few weeks after the bike arrived, I got around to assembling it. As a reward for this accomplishment, I treated myself to a box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Stars cookies. It was the holiday season, that six-week period when I am eating and drinking myself into oblivion.

Assembled conversation piece.

Assembled conversation piece.

When I returned to New York from a West Coast getaway on December 28th, I did a Fairway run for foodstuffs, and purchased a new slice and bake cookie they make called the Kitchen Sink. This cookie is high octane. It has everything in it — chocolate, nuts, oats, raisins and maybe even a drain.

Yee ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My kind of cookie!

That evening, I dined with my buds, Milton and Coco. I mainlined a burger, fries and four pints of beer. The next day, Sunday, December 29th, I had a brunch date with my friend, Lola. I continued stuffing myself with gusto.

On Monday, December 30th, I glimpsed myself sideways naked. I looked like I had a baby kangaroo stuffed in my mid-section. Whatever was going on in there was nearing the point that no amount of black clothing could conceal. When I stepped on the scale the number was so sky high it was as if I was carrying the mothership kangaroo. There was no denying it: six-weeks of holiday season indulging resulted in my now having to lose an adult marsupial in weight. The time had come for me to ride that spin bike. I could no longer avoid it.

I popped in a DVD that came with the bike called Ultimate Energy. It’s described as “a fun and challenging ride while exploring the potential of your own power with smooth hills and seamless straight-aways”. It stars a Son of Stepford, an international fitness educator who never stops smiling or breaks a sweat. He doesn’t mention that if you’re middle aged and suffering late stage Fat Ass-itis, you will feel no fun — just a humiliating degree of challenge with a heaping help of suffering. When he declared in a perky tone “it’s okay to smile” as I was crying blood, I renamed this DVD Ultimate Cruelty.

When it was over, I was drenched in sweat and certain that I could never do this again for forty minutes. This bike was destined to be only a $449 clothes rack.

Multi-tasking spin bike.

Multi-tasking spin bike.

But, shortly afterward, the endorphins released and I felt that high I feel on those rare occasions when I have great sex i.e., coupling with someone who does not require begging from me. I thoroughly read the manual that came with the bike about dietary habits. Cookies, burgers and beer were omitted. The emphasis was on whole grains, fruit and vegetables and something that had completely escaped my mind over the course of the last four years: portion control.

I decided that it would behoove me to re-think my diet. I baked the Kitchen Sink cookies — but gave them to a guy at The Grind without eating one myself.

Christmas in January came to a guy who works on the floor above me.

Kitchen Sink Cookies: banished!

I am now eating primarily organic. It doesn’t cost much more because I’ve eliminated bagels, beer, and cookies from my shopping list. I have quit watching that Son of Stepford DVD. Apple’s iTunes Radio has a station called Rev Up that introduced me to heart rate soaring dance music rife with synthesizers and drum machines, exactly what I would have dismissed as aural pollution BS (Before Spinning). My favorite song to ride to is Maximal Crazy.

A song that makes shock therapy seem mellow.

A melody as mellow as shock treatment.

Even though I no longer pound four beers in a sitting, I have not become a healthy lifestyle fanatic. When I’m dining out with friends, I don’t announce:

Me: Just water and a plate of steamed leaves for me.

When I started spinning a month and a half ago, I did it three days a week. Two weeks in, Milton encouraged me to ride every other day. Now that I feel it is less likely that I will drop dead doing this, I am going to try riding it five days a week. Even though Coco, who is a buff gym rat, wishes I’d ditch the scale; she’s an advocate of how you feel over a number, thus far, I’ve shed seven pounds. I feel much less spongy and much more solid. Best of all, I no longer look like I’m carrying a large footed beast in my guts.

Advertisements

57 responses to “Lame Adventure 409: Unloading the Kangaroo

  1. Damn, good for you! I need to hit the elliptical machine staring at me across the room. Though I did manage to lift weights yesterday. I will follow your good example and do the dreaded workout here in a minute. I swear!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    Like

    • Yeah, I’m lifting weights, too. If this winter of discontent ever ends over here I’m looking forward to working a few walks into my fitness program on days I don’t spin. I’m hoping that these walks will lead to some more inspired blog posts. This winter has been hell on my creativity.

      Hugs from the frozen Apple,
      V

      Like

      • That’s where a dog and an unfenced yard comes in handy. You have to go for walks, no excuses.

        Like

        • A dog and an unfenced yard are not viable options for me because I reside in a brownstone apartment building where hounds are not welcome. So I’m pretty much stuck walking myself on the streets of New York. At least I don’t spend hours sniffing every shrub, fire hydrant and lamp post before leaving my mark. Fortunately, I’m so well trained I can get all that done in about fifteen minutes.

          Like

  2. Very funny… And congratulations. Good work

    Ever,

    R.

    Like

  3. When I started following your blog, you just bought the spinner. Your descriptions were amusing and made me chuckle. Over the months, I never thought about that spinner. For some odd reason, last month it came to mind. I wondered what you did with it. Now I know! Good for you.

    I’m of the school of don’t overdo. Moderate eating and regular exercise of some sorts go a long way. It needs to become part of lifestyle, not a burden. We eat what we want, just not too much of it. We move more now than ever before. I am 67 tomorrow and am as fit as ever.

    Keep it up. 🙂

    Like

    • I used to be very fit, Jim, but that got derailed when my exercise bike broke a few years ago. I could not afford to replace it because I’m on the get rich slow path. But after I was diagnosed with Fat Ass-itis, I knew it would behoove me to do something to reverse the problem, so I researched spin bikes. I have six months to pay off this one interest-free, the delivery was free and I was not charged tax. Overall, it’s a pretty sweet deal, but there’s still a part of me that wishes it would just do the spinning for me as I sleep an extra hour in the morning. Hey, they can fly a man to the moon …

      Like

      • Is there a way to motorize it and strap yourself on so it could do the spinning? Sort of like this…

        Like

      • I’ll chime in here. Yes, Jim is as fit as ever. I met him more than half his life ago. He looks GREAT! He FEELS great, too!

        I’ll say, though, that we eat what we want and over the years have modified what we want quite a lot. I used to want potato chips. Okay, yeah, I still do. But the cravings have dropped off and now I only buy them a very few times a year. So in fact, we are careful about what we eat, but we aren’t fanatics and we don’t feel real virtuous about it all (that’s a lie.) Either way, it seems to be working for both of us.

        Like

        • Melanie, when I’m with friends I allow myself foods with flavor and variety, but when I’m home or eating lunch at The Grind, I’m sticking to my diet like a barnacle. I like to think that having some self control allows me to enjoy a burger, fries, and now, two pints of suds with Milton without gaining an ounce.

          Like

          • Good plan. It’s a lot easier to control home food anyway. Who knows what crap they put in your food at restaurant? I blow up like a balloon with the sodium. (Hence the no potato chips ….)

            Like

            • But I LOVE dining out, even though I can only afford to so sparingly. I had such a delicious duck confit with Coco last week and a few weeks earlier, I joined my friend, Albee, for dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Greenwich Village where I had the most superb chicken in a yogurt sauce. I was in my bliss.

              Like

  4. That’s great. And I guess I’m sort of relieved. When I read the title of this morning’s blog–Unloading the Kangaroo–two thoughts jumped into my fetid little brain.

    First, that as you near the dreaded double nickel some sort of wave of long-buried maternal cravings had come over you and you had rushed to The Bronx Zoo over the weekend and had kidnapped a Joey.

    That seemed ridiculous, so that idea died a quiet and uneventful death.

    Then I figured it was a new sex position that had escaped me. That seemed more likely cuz after 26 years of wedded bliss I haven’t heard of anything new since I read about The Rusty Trombone in 2004. I said READ ABOUT.

    The spinning seems to have done the trick. You looked quite svelte when I dropped by The Grind last week. And it wasn’t just the black ensemble.

    Like

    • I assure you that I remain about as maternal as a table leg and the only thing I tend to adopt is a hangover more then than now.

      The Rusty Trombone sounds like a position that requires a tetanus shot first. Not my kind of shot.

      The spinning seems to be working. My clothes no longer feel like sausage casing.

      Like

  5. Congrats, V! I knew you’d get around to that spin bike! Just like most things, exercise becomes a habit once one has overcome inertia! I’m glad you’re spinning and I suspect you probably feel better too!

    When I used to race bikes, I did some indoor training with my coach who played “music to pedal by.” In those days, he liked to play U2 – good beat and we got better at keeping a consistent cadence – important in road racing. I think his favorite was “With or Without You…”

    Great post – hope you’ve kept some skinny clothes in your closet – you’re gonna need them!

    Like

    • Overcoming inertia could easily be the title of this chapter of my life, Cathy! I dreaded spinning because I knew it would be agony, at least in the beginning. I’m not big on personal pain and suffering, but I’m all for it for others. All my clothes are tight, but now they just happen to offer less strangulation.

      Like

  6. Dude that’s awesome! I need to take lessons since I also packed on the pounds over the holiday. I went for a three-mile run on Sunday and only had one gin and tonic. Baby steps. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  7. I’m proud of you. Eating in moderation and booze reduction is my biggest challenge. Right now, I look like I’m ready to give birth to a small elephant (in fact its little trunk is already showing). I broke out in a sweat just reading this, but perhaps it wil inspire me to get up and move around a little.

    Like

    • Russell, thanks for THAT image.

      Like

    • Being less out of shape feels really good, Russell, but I’m not going to preach the gospel of working out. But I will say this about the results, they’re right up there with the new glasses I recently got. I told Milton that they make me want to re-watch every film and play I’ve seen over the last five years. The world looks so much different in sharp focus especially when I’m not huffing and puffing like a steam engine.

      Like

  8. Good job! I’ve found spinning to be the best cardio workout; seems to accomplish a lot in a relatively short amount of time

    Like

  9. Congrats, V. Seven pounds is nearly a size isn’t it? Must have been rough giving up cookies though. Glad you spin cycle is multi-purpose though and thanks for the tip on the music. Haven’t heard of it but every bit of motivation helps when it comes to exercise. Stay warm.

    Like

    • According to Coco, Brig, ten pounds is a size. Fortunately, I tend to wear my clothes tight (hey, I’m an old punk) so I don’t think I’ll have to re-do my wardrobe. I have noticed that everything is fitting much better — including my socks.

      Like

  10. i like that it’s now a piece of kinetic sculpture slash laundry holder. well done, pal!

    Like

    • Thank you, Jules! When you live in a garret as small as my rathole, objects that multi-task are highly valued. Special guests can bring out the trampoline in the bed, emphasis on tramp of course.

      Like

  11. Congrats on some great work! I know exactly how you feel and was just thinking how I’d best get my lazy self back in gear. I find it takes mental energy to commit to healthy changes and I think that is the first hurdle. Then there’s the challenge of physical activity. My god, I’m tired just thinking about it! You have inspired me, V. Good luck!

    Like

    • You are so right about the mental energy idea, Terri! But that is followed closely by seeing is believing. I could no longer deny that there was a growing problem staring back at me in the mirror requiring drastic and immediate action. My bike is the Spinner FIT. I think it’s a pretty good deal.

      Like

  12. Now that you’re using the bike, where are you going to put all your clothes?
    Keep up the good work!

    Like

  13. Cheers to your efforts … and if you get the urge to buy cookies, go ahead … and then mail them to me.

    Like

  14. Good luck with your exercises, LA, and well done on your weight loss so far! I am impressed!
    I have a step-walker thingy that I intend on using when I feel the time is right. I may follow your lead, however, and glance at myself sideways in the mirror – I know that will spur me on!

    Like

  15. I need to address my kangaroo. And I’m gonna but like Tom, I must wait until the time is right.

    You are so good! Bravo!

    Like

    • I hear you, Maggie. I needed to ruminate about my fitness regime for two and half months before taking action. Seeing myself sideways in the altogether was very motivating. Looking five months preggers at my age is not as attractive as it sounds.

      Like

  16. Congratulations! Great to be on the right track. I must announce, though, that your kangaroo got a plane ticket and came over here with his friend. Phil and I are in serious need of some discipline. Might read your post one more time for motivation; or have hypnosis to ditch sugar for steamed leaves.

    Like

    • I had to ruminate and glare at that bike for months before getting around to riding it. A good and terrifying motivator is looking at yourselves naked. Whatever you guys decide to do, offset your exercise routine with dietary changes, but almost two months in and 8 1/2 pounds less flabby, I’ve grown use to my lifestyle change. So seriously consider sending that kangaroo and his friend elsewhere.

      Like

  17. Amazing work so far! I am of the cookies-eating-and-inhaling-four-beers-in-one-sitting variety, yet I never understand why the 30-45 of daily activity doesn’t counteract that. Math hasn’t been my strong point since around 9th grade…. sooOOoo… Love that you were crying blood, though, that truly made me chortle.

    Like

    • I do find the agonizing pain suffered by others infinitely more amusing than my own, but suggesting I smile while I was seeing my life pass before my eyes was crossing the line on that fitness DVD.

      Like

  18. ALSO, I just pulled this song up on Spotify and have listened to it like 5 times. I went to see the Lego Movie today and could not get “Everything is Awesome” out of my brain.

    Like

    • Thanks for the tip. I will make sure to avoid “Everything is Awesome” as I would belly crawling on hot coals naked. I was only able to entirely delete “It’s a Small World” out of my brain four months ago. It had been lingering in that dark space since 1997.

      Like

  19. Funny post V. Over the past 6 months or so, I’ve lost 38 pounds. I just started eating a lot less and now I require very little to keep me going all day. I’m almost wearing the same size jeans I wore in high school. What I DO want to do is exercise on a regular basis. Parts of me are going south and even though my job is quite physical, I need to tone up. Kudos on you for keeping up the spinning. You are better than me!

    Like

  20. Snoring Dog Studio

    I’m sorry I missed this post – must have been in the kitchen bingeing on pretzel rolls and yet another cake baked by my sister and sent over here to do more damage. But congratulations, dear V! I am so awfully proud and impressed. And inspired.

    Like

    • It took me months to psyche myself to do this. It wasn’t easy at the beginning and there are still times when I work out, where it’s such a challenge not to quit, but somehow I keep going. After crossing that finish line to nowhere, I feel great. Diet and portion control are two big factors. For this to work, you have to fully commit to not being flabulous. My sister started working out regularly in March and she’s doing great. Whenever you feel ready Jean, as the saying goes, just do it.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s