Further Adventures in Weightlessness

Exercise

In addition to monitoring caloric intake, a crucial key to weightlessness is exercise. Our bodies need to move, and if we don’t move them, we won’t be fulfilling our potential. But I’m one to talk. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. I know it elevates my mood—big time—but I can be lazy and procrastinate about it. There were years of my life when I didn’t have to think about exercise because I was extremely active, and then there were years of my life when I consciously needed to exercise daily.

Joining a gym would never have occurred to me when I was 19 (I am now 54). But I did. I signed up. I knew nothing about gyms, but I wanted to get fit because I wasn’t extremely active at the time, and I’d been gaining weight. I chose a Gold’s Gym because it was close to my apartment. I had no idea it was a bodybuilding gym. I walked in and asked how it all worked and what it would cost. I was given a tour of the machines, and it seemed very straightforward, so I signed up.

I wasn’t quite sure how to use the machines, but a kind soul came along and showed me how to work them. Over the course of the first month, I got the hang of things, and even started to develop some definition. The following month one of the trainers approached me and asked if I might be interested in competing.

“Competing?” I asked, absolutely clueless.

“Yes,” he said, “in bodybuilding.”

I think bodybuilding is nothing short of remarkable because of the enormous amount of effort and energy that is necessary to maintain such a muscular body, but I could not see myself in that role. It was a marvelous compliment; however, I knew the lazy procrastinator in me would eventually win the day. I stopped going to the gym just as soon as I lost the weight I wanted to lose. Of course, that was a mistake.

Over the years my weight (and health) have fluctuated dramatically. I did occasionally go to a local gym, but it seemed to be more of a social scene than a place to work out. I decided to purchase a stationary bicycle for exercise. Because I had it in my house, I was more inclined to exercise than ever before, and I was fit for some years. It wasn’t the first machine I used for my health.

Today I use a Sunny Health & Fitness Air Resistance Hybrid Fan Bike – SF-B2618, which has movable arms and bicycle pedals. It is my machine of choice because I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and feet, with accompanying chronic pain. And, as my first rheumatologist told me, “If you lose 20 pounds, your symptoms will decrease by 50%.” If that isn’t a worthy goal, I don’t know what is.

I took my rheumatologist’s advice and got serious about exercising (again). At first, I couldn’t sustain a workout, I was in so much pain. My doctor suggested exercising even a little more every day would make me feel better. He was right. I went into remission for a few years, but once again, I stopped exercising for one reason or another, and fell back into an unhealthy lifestyle.

This is where I find myself now.

More soon…

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