Tag Archives: spinning

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.

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Lame Adventure 397: Pass on the Appetizers

When I stepped out to run an errand, much to my surprise what did I see lying on the sidewalk but a nose. Upon closer inspection I realized my eyes were playing tricks on me because I had actually mistaken three carrots angled funny in a sandwich bag for a proboscis.

These carrots looked a lot less orange without the flash.

These carrots looked a lot less orange without the flash.

An obvious mistake anyone not anticipating an encounter with stray carrots would have made.

On the topic of food, eating season starts this Thursday,  that time of year between Thanksgiving, or for readers who prefer, Thanksgivakkah (since this holiday coincides with the first day of Hanukkah), and New Years. Due to my gastroenterologist’s recommendation, I’m assigned to start losing the equivalent of a bowling ball and seven bananas in flab. The timing of this advised weight loss goal during the most food-filled weeks of the year creates a conflict for me. But, this Turkey Day, I am determined to practice self-control. I will consciously refrain from duplicating the year when I was a barnacle to the appetizer table where I inhaled a dozen deviled eggs and a glut of prawns washed down with a liter of martinis, prior to entering a coma during the main course, but reviving in time for pie. Forgive me for waxing sentimental.

This is also the season when one has to start thinking about gift giving. I am of modest means so I can afford more thinking than giving, but I have ticked one important Christmas gift off my list for a very dear relation. While shopping in my local Duane Reade for twine I could not locate, possibly because I was wandering aimfully in the pet toy section, I saw a talking Mr. Magoo — the perfect present for my sister’s pooch, Thurber.

"Hello Thurber!"

“Hello Thurber!”

As for everyone else in my family, if I cannot get whatever I’m giving them via the Internet, they’re not getting it from me. This is the time of year when my shopping standards kick in ferociously and I am solidly adhered. You could sooner move the George Washington Bridge with a feather than could you sooner dislodge me from my spending season policy. I only enter brick and mortar stores for the basic tools of survival: food, alcohol and flavored lubricant.

Back to this pressure to de-flab myself sooner than later, it is something I am taking extremely seriously. So seriously that I was compelled to finally remove my spin bike from the shipping box I received it in four weeks ago Tuesday. It was such a surgical procedure; it took one sixth of a day to complete.

Tightly packed.

Tightly packed.

Muscling out heavy duty staplers. Hit self in head twice, but only suffered a single concussion.

Muscling out heavy duty staples. Hit self in head twice, but only suffered a loss of consciousness once.

Sliced open box.

Sliced open box.

Supplied wrench that temporarily went AWOL.

Supplied wrench that temporarily went AWOL.

Three hours later, finally getting somewhere.

An eight of a day later, finally getting somewhere.

End result.

End result.

With my newfound experience extricating such a cumbersome and heavy object, I have likely attained the prowess to dissect an elephant with an X-Acto knife. If that pays better than what I’m currently making labeling tile, sign me up.

Putting my spin bike together took about a quarter hour including the five minutes I spent looking for and cursing at the wrench that went missing when it slipped under my bed.  Later that evening I met Milton.

Milton: You’ve started spinning?

Me: No. But I finally took my bike out of that box the size of Texas and I assembled it. That was a workout and a half.

Milton: It shows.

That compliment bolstered my confidence. In fact it got me through the next three days when every muscle in my body ached horrifically. The pain during my recovery from removing my spin bike from its box also caused a seismic shift in my fantasizing. Gone were the Technicolor dreams of intimacy with blind-folded vixens willing to pick up the tab. My thoughts went completely decadent and I dreamed of being chauffeured to and from The Grind in an ambulance, an expense that was fully covered by my crummy health insurance.

Soon, the spin shoes and cleats I recently ordered from Zappos should arrive. Then I will no longer have any excuses left to delay jump starting my sole New Years’ resolution in December. In preparation, I have read all of my spin bike’s how-to manuals cover to cover. They’re multi-purpose; they also put me to sleep. I suppose there’s no way to get around actually riding the spin bike to achieve the dual goals of weight loss and “ultimate energy”. Cutting back on ultimate eating this holiday season is probably a good starting point.

Spin bike manuals and DVDs. Cookies sold separately.

Spin bike manuals and DVDs. Dark Chocolate star cookies sold separately.