What is Weightlessness?

When I think of Weightlessness, I think of outer space. I conjure up an image of an astronaut on the Space Station, floating outside on a cable while repairing something or other. I think of buoyancy, the way in which we can float in saltwater better than we can on a pond or a pool or a lake. A sensory deprivation chamber might do the trick since the purveyors of such things use salt for buoyancy. They are also closed in, in the dark, with no sound which is the point, of course. On the other hand, the article by Allison P. Davis, “I Survived My Terrifying Hour in a Sensory-Deprivation Tank,” might change your mind.

I’ve considered trying sensory deprivation more than once, but I chickened out every time. Still, I love the idea of weightlessness, of buoyancy, like freedom or a cool breeze on a hot day. Flotation locations seem to be everywhere, and I literally found a website by that name, as well as their sponsor, dreampods. Apparently, people have these pods in their homes. The pods look like shiny, gleaming, blobs, and with the lids lifted up, just enough, it seems sort of like a smile. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, and that’s not all! Dreampods also offer add-ons from DreamScape, which offers programs designed with “landscapes for the mind.” That I could do, but without the pod.

One of these products, Ocean Float Rooms, aren’t like other pods. They are entire rooms, designed to prevent that claustrophobic feeling. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the video. I can understand why a surprising number of celebrities have used sensory deprivation: Ohio State football players, Joe Rogan, John Lennon, Carl Lewis, Jeff Bridges, Elle Macpherson, to name a few.

I must admit I’m envious of those who have the courage to spend an hour in a dark tank of saltwater, whether it’s a large room or a small tank or anything in between. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll try it someday, if only because I’m so into weightlessness.

Until then, I’ll just watch Float Nation:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHnbKjQGhHw

Weightlessness: An Antidote to Bingeville

I hadn’t exercised since July 28th, and I was feeling much less than my usual self. After a few days without exercise, I felt listless and unhappy. I also suffered from a lack of self-esteem.I was unable to concentrate on everyday tasks. I neglected my calorie counting, and even went so far as to buy a large loaf of sliced sourdough bread and a block of cheddar cheese, which disappeared more quickly than I thought it would. Yes, I was living in Bingeville. I had given up on my exercise regime, which had a huge impact on my emotional, psychological and physical well-being.  Without an outlet I was going insane. What was most disturbing to me is that I gained four of the 21 pounds that I had lost, most of that from eating cheese and bread.

Three days ago, I received the last of the exercise machine parts, but instead of feeling gleeful, I felt tremendously guilty. I had to ask myself if I was really so stubborn that, instead of suffering, I wouldn’t go to a gym. Sure, each of the gyms that I contacted offered me a few days as a guest, and thereafter, I would have to become a member. I didn’t know how long it would take for my machine to be in working order, and so I couldn’t set a date. I guess I could have used a guest pass for a few days at each gym, but  I had to make a choice. I chose to remain hopeful and wait.

I don’t know if waiting was the right answer, but for the last two days that I have exercised, I have felt tremendous relief. No longer am I craving bread and cheese. Instead, I had Brussels sprouts with garlic and Italian herbs for breakfast yesterday, lightly sautéed zucchini and summer squash for lunch, and a veggie salad for dinner. I could have adhered to my weight loss schedule (and I did, for nearly two weeks), but in the end, I was craving what I shouldn’t have—massive quantities of carbs and dairy—and what I couldn’t have—the intact exercise machine.

Today I am feeling better about myself. I forgive myself for falling off the Weightlessness wagon. My mind is clear, and I feel happy to start over with my weightlessness regimen, which is a very good thing because I have a more pressing reason for needing (as well as wanting) to lose weight. I do not generally share this information because people rarely understand. Hence, the topic of the next post:

Weightlessness and Pain

The Weightlessness Machine

When the parts for my exercise machine finally arrived, I was thrilled! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the tools to install the parts. Lucky for me, my next door neighbor had the tools–as well as the wherewithal–to get the job done. I don’t know what I would have done without his help. I’m exceedingly lucky in that sense, and exceedingly unlucky in another: After he left, I discovered I needed additional parts, so I was not able to use the machine–yet. Once again, I contacted the manufacturer and waited.

As the days dragged on. I found myself taking longer walks to run errands I didn’t really need to run. I took care of the garden, killed weeds in the backyard, and generally moved around as much as possible. I cleaned things around the house even when they were not dirty. I took my laundry to a laundromat farther away from home, just for the exercise.

That would have been all well and good, until I decided to fall off the wagon of weightlessness. Then it got ugly.

Weightlessness in Limbo

I haven’t written anything about weightlessness for some days or weeks. I haven’t counted, but my body tells me I don’t feel as well and upbeat as usual. My exercise machine, for all the extreme goodness that it has provided me, has let me down. Again and again. Part after part delivered and installed, emails back and forth confirming…wrong part or part I don’t know how to install, I am nearly ready to give up.

My most recent foray into fixing the machine included taking it all apart. That was quite a task. With everything in pieces, I broke down and looked for a consultant on Craigslist. I found a welder who also does repair. If he’s as good as his portfolio shows, I’ll be good to go. Just waiting, always waiting, for something to happen.

On the bright side, instead of using my exercise machine, I work in my garden, take longer walks, and do things that I had been procrastinating about. Despite the 80+ degree weather, I sit peacefully in the garden, watching the butterflies and dragon flies. Later on, I might be sipping a beer on the patio outside, under the umbrella.

And yet, I can’t wait for a phone call from the welder I contacted on Craigslist. That is foremost in my mind.